Some authors affectionately refer to their books as their babies, which becomes especially relevant to me and my book Nine Lies People Believe About Speaking in Tongues. At the time of writing this, I have one daughter, an incredibly hilarious toddler named Jemina. We almost thought she was going to come into the world two days sooner than she actually did…
My wife and I are missionaries to Peru, and were planning to deliver our daughter while on the mission field. We had gone to see our doctor for what we thought was going to be a routine checkup one Monday morning and to make sure a concern Lili had was nothing to be alarmed about. Our doctor was on vacation, as it was still over two weeks before the expected delivery date, so we ended up seeing another doctor. The doctor we spoke with encouraged us to begin the protocols they follow to prepare for a Cesarean section. This was not so good, as we were not prepared for anything other than a natural delivery, especially not financially. This particular doctor was not even willing to try a natural delivery, but wanted to proceed with a C-section.
I pretended that I spoke very little Spanish (cuando en realidad hablo más que adecuada Español), and we called our friend and leader Anna Burgess to come to the hospital to translate for me. Really we just wanted someone else who had navigated the confusing world of Peruvian hospitals and births to help bring us some peace with her presence. I went to the closest ATM I could find and withdrew all the cash I had in any of our bank accounts in order to pay for the bill, believing by faith that Lili would deliver Jemina naturally and without having to have her stomach cut open.
By lunchtime, we were worn out and felt like we had just been through a few days of stress and uncertainty as opposed to merely a few hours. Lili was not dilated enough to give birth, and I thought this doctor really wanted to make his money off of us and perform a C-section. Amidst all of the confusion and the seeming pressure, the three of us took a moment to pray and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. We then collectively sensed that now was not the time, and Lili and I were not to bow to any pressure from a doctor we had only met that morning. Lili got herself dressed and we decided to take a taxi and head to another hospital for a second opinion, this time opting to go where Anna had delivered her youngest son just a few years prior.
First we needed to eat since Lili hadn’t eaten since early that morning, and if this second hospital decided Lili couldn’t have a natural delivery but was going to give birth that afternoon, then we knew she would have been out of energy if she had essentially fasted all day. As we sat down, Anna lent me her iPhone so I could check my e-mail and Facebook messages. That’s when I read a note from a friend.
In his message, which I’m paraphrasing here, he told us that in the last few weeks leading up to the delivery, Lili would feel contractions but she was not to worry. It would be best that we wait until heading to the hospital. Since we were first-time parents we might not know that Lili could have contractions for days before giving birth, and we may be tempted to go into the hospital early, at which point they follow their protocols and the chances of a C-section are increased. He told us he felt led to write that message and tell us that when Lili was ready to give birth, she would know it and not need a doctor to convince her.
I quickly wrote back indicating we received his message as confirmation from the Lord as we were just in that whirlwind situation and had almost caved in to the pressure the doctor was putting on us. Later when we were home and had Internet access again, I wrote this friend back and told him in more detail what had happened, and why his message was timely for us.
This was his response:
"I just wanted to let you know I completed reading your book Nine Lies People Believe About Speaking in Tongues and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am really encouraged to pray in the Spirit more … Interesting thing is the day I sent you that Facebook message, I had just spent some of my lunchtime in my car at the park praying in tongues, and when I was done the encouragement to wait about the delivery came to me at the end of it. I didn’t really even think it was a word from the Lord or anything but it was strong on my heart and felt like writing it. So I was deeply encouraged as well by it."
This encouraged me—obviously. You see, this man had just finished reading an advanced preview copy of my book. This was the first of many testimonies I started hearing from people after having read it for themselves. This past year has been just a taste of the Lord’s impact of this book on the bride of Christ.
We wound up meeting the doctor who was to deliver Jemina into the world two days later on Wednesday night. We still had a C-section, in case you’re wondering, but this doctor was willing to go the natural route first. After two hours of labor and Lili not being able to take it any more, we were comfortable going forward with the surgery. I mention this because having had two more days gave us enough time to launch a Go Fund Me campaign and ask the body of Christ for help in our situation, and we were blessed and humbled by the abundant financial help people offered.
- Steve Bremner, author of Nine Lies People Believe About Speaking in Tongues