I will never forget that frosty fall morning. I was sitting at the table in our tiny basement apartment, slowly eating a spoon full of peanut butter with 2 Peter open in front of me. I was pregnant with our first child, and nausea and brain fog were my constant companions day and night. This made it difficult to get out of bed, let alone spend time in the Word and in prayer. I’m not sure how many times I had read the same few verses over and over again, but I knew it was enough to be discouraged. My foggy mind, coupled with my woozy tummy, was keeping me from being able to fully grasp what I was reading; it felt useless. “Lord,” I prayed, “I wanted so much to be disciplined to be in the Word during pregnancy, but I just can’t focus because I feel awful. Is this even worth it?” And the Lord so clearly spoke to my heart in that moment of despair. “Why do you want to be disciplined? Is it simply for the sake of feeling good about yourself? Or is your desire to truly know Me?”
At that moment my perspective began to change, and my heart was filled with hope. I realized that it was so much more than just reading my Bible as a task to check off a list: it was about seeking God every moment of every day. And, I could trust Him that even though it didn’t feel like reading His Word was making a difference right then and there, God would use it to grow me as I sought Him out of love.
Isaiah 40:11 says, “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”
God knows that pregnancy is often a very trying time in a woman’s life; He doesn’t beat us over the head when we’re not able to maintain the same habits or schedules we had previously. The Lord is patient and gentle as we learn to traverse this new territory. And, as the verse above says, He gently leads. He is right there with us, never leaving or forsaking us. When we start to veer off course, He gives us a gentle tap with His rod and brings us back to His path.
Here are a few approaches I have used as I’ve sought to be intentional in cultivating my relationship with the Lord during pregnancy.
Listening to the Bible
Not long after the story above, I began listening to an audio recording of the Bible. I found this to be a wonderful way to saturate my mind and heart with truth throughout the day. When it was hard to focus my eyes to read, I would lie down and listen to Scripture. Or, I often would play it while I was driving in the car or doing household tasks.
Keep a Prayer Journal
I’ve had terrible brain fog with all my pregnancies, so I often struggled to maintain focus while praying. I have found that keeping a prayer journal helps me to be more intentional and mindful during prayer times. Once I spend a little time writing, I find that I am able to set aside my journal and just talk with the Lord (If you’re looking for one specifically to use during pregnancy, I would recommend this journal by Val Marie Paper).
Seek God with Others
During one of my pregnancies, I was involved in leading a Bible study. This proved to be a wonderful way to hold myself accountable to search God’s Word and really digest it. I still remember the book we studied, and some of the concepts I learned there were planted deeply in my soul. So even though “pregnancy brain” is a very real thing, God can overcome it and help us to grasp His precepts and principles and apply them to our lives.
God desires for us to know and love Him far more than even we do, and He will guide us and give us wisdom as we seek Him with our whole hearts whether that’s during pregnancy or any other season of life. He will draw us closer to Himself for our good and His glory when we fix our gaze upon Him.
GIVEAWAY: This post was adapted from Heather Cofer’s book, ‘Expectant: Cultivating a Vision for Christ-Centered Pregnancy’. She will be giving away a copy of her book and one of our Pregnancy Prayer Journals to one lucky winner! Head to her Instagram account to enter. The giveaway runs from Nov. 5-7, 2020.
Heather Cofer is a wife and mom of four with a passion for pointing others to Christ. She has written for multiple ministries, including Set-Apart Girl, Well-Watered Women, and Revive Our Hearts. She is also the author of Expectant: Cultivating a Vision for Christ-Centered Pregnancy. Heather loves quality timewith her husband, Judah, laughter with friends, fresh flowers, playing piano, and good coffee. She and her family currently live in Northern Colorado near the beautiful Rocky Mountains.
You can follow along with her at heathercofer.com or on her Instagram.