By Kate Battistelli
God's Brave Women - Kate's Story
It was probably something I ate. At seven months pregnant the pain in my abdomen doubled me over and all I could imagine was a monstrous, horrible gas attack. But after a few hours and no relief, my nervous husband Mike called our midwife and she ordered us to meet her at the hospital.
We were terrified.
This is back in 1985 and we were baby Christians, having been saved a little more than a year. We didn't have a strong foundation of faith yet and we had no idea what was happening to us and our baby so we did the only thing we knew. We called the woman who had led us to the Lord and she got her church praying for us.
Since I was a little girl, my goal had always been to become a mother and have at least five kids. In fact, Mike and I planned on a messy, noisy houseful of children, but God had a different plan. A second pregnancy turned ectopic (tubal) and we lost the baby and all future fertility. Four failed adoption attempts later we got the memo. It took a while to accept we would have only one child but eventually we saw God's hand and will in what seemed to be the death of our dreams. But that's a whole other story.
"It took a while to accept we would have only one child but eventually we saw God's hand and will in what seemed to be the death of our dreams."
Anyway, back to the hospital. No one had a clue what was wrong with me. Appendicitis? Premature labor? Indigestion? Virus?
I was having some contractions so they hooked me up to the monitor. Doctors came in and out, poking and prodding and examining me. Fear was palpable in that hospital room. We didn't know if our baby was a boy or a girl (this was thirty-six years ago), but that terrifying night in the hospital, when we didn't know if our baby would live or die, I learned the first lesson of being a mother.
No matter what the circumstances, whether you understand what's happening or not, a mother will fight for her child. She will do whatever it takes to give that baby a chance. Love takes over amid the desperation and she takes her stand and stands her ground.
"No matter what the circumstances, whether you understand what's happening or not, a mother will fight for her child... Love takes over amid the desperation and she takes her stand and stands her ground."
They really thought it was appendicitis and I'd have to have my appendix out. If it would save the baby, then fine, just do it. Whatever the cost. Just save my baby.
I didn't know about taking thoughts captive or casting down vain imaginations. I didn't know that we 'fight the good fight'. I just knew I had to fight. So I prayed and I feared… but I prayed. Mike prayed. We prayed together. We begged God for a miracle.
"I didn't know about taking thoughts captive or casting down vain imaginations. I didn't know that we 'fight the good fight'. I just knew I had to fight. So I prayed and I feared… but I prayed."
In the end, it wasn't appendicitis and the doctors never could figure out what was wrong with me. The contractions stopped and the pain subsided and all they could say was that it was an “anomaly” which is doctor speak for “we don't have a clue”.
We headed home, worn out but relieved. Two months later, (ten days past her due date), our daughter Francesca was born, all eight pounds, ten ounces of her.
I had no experience with babies. Seriously, none at all. But I learned. God sent me wonderful mama mentors in those days. Though I made plenty of mistakes, one thing never changed. I never stopped fighting or standing for my baby girl. Fighting in faith, fighting my own doubts and fears, fighting in prayer, standing in the gap, fighting for her future.
"Though I made plenty of mistakes, one thing never changed. I never stopped fighting or standing for my baby girl. Fighting in faith, fighting my own doubts and fears, fighting in prayer, standing in the gap, fighting for her future."
Franny's all grown now with a husband and family of her own. I adore her six babies with everything in me. I love being Mimi and I love playing with them and buying them way too much. When I'm with them my goals are to make laughter, make memories, and make all their favorite foods. And to model a love for God that makes them want to love Him too.
But in the secret place, the place they don't see, the sacred place of prayer, I fight. I fight for their future, I fight for their destiny. I take God at His word and I fight the good fight of faith. The fight of brave belief. And I stand my ground.
The weapons of my warfare? Love. Because that's how we mamas do it.
Brave Woman Manifesto
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story.
And by the way...
You are Brave!
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Kate Battistelli, a former homeschooling mom, is happily married to her best friend, Mike, for 38 years, and is mom to GRAMMY award-winning recording artist Francesca Battistelli and Mimi to her 6 children.
She’s a former Broadway actress and author of the bestseller, The God Dare: Will You Choose to Believe the Impossible, and Growing Great Kids: Partner with God to Cultivate His Purpose in Your Child’s Life. She represents one-third of the Mom to Mom podcast trio, whose goal is to equip every generation of moms with grace, encouragement, and honesty.
Because of her heart for the broken and bruised, you can find her mentoring and encouraging women of all ages, either on her front porch, in her small group, or on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.