This is the original book in the Warrior Women Series. It is a faith based collection of stories from Christian women who write about the importance of the role of mother in their lives. Featured in photographs throughout the book series are every day women dressed as warrior women.
Available for purchase through Amazon.com and Kindle
Birth of a Book
By Judith Victoria Hensley
Motherhood is one of God’s greatest blessings in my life. My former husband and I had planned on having lots of children. He said he wanted a basketball team. Since my mother’s mother had sixteen children, and my father’s mother had fourteen children, that idea didn’t sound so unrealistic at the time.
We agreed that adoption would be part of our family plan, plus children of our own. We were in the midst of the adoption process and had been married for five years before I found out that a little one was on the way.
Our rented home was a historical house on Sulphur Well Road on the outskirts of Lexington, Kentucky that had at one time served as a toll booth for wagons and stage coaches. It sat at the edge of a lovely sprawling cattle and tobacco farm.
In the middle of a September night, I heard a voice with a joyful message. “You are going to have a baby son.” It was as if the voice was coming from a real person standing very near the bed, or even over the bed.
I awakened my husband and said, “Did you hear that? Did you hear that?”
He hadn’t heard anything. The voice had been so loud and so real to me, it was hard for me to believe that he didn’t hear it also. When I told him what I’d heard, he didn’t believe me. I was so persistent that he got out of bed and checked the whole house to make sure all the doors and windows were locked and that there was no way anyone could have gotten in and said anything.
The idea that a heavenly voice had spoken to me was outside his stretch of faith at the time.
I was so thrilled and filled with joy, it was overwhelming. I wanted the world to know that I was going to have a son! I was going to be a mother!
In the meantime, we were called for a final adoption hearing. We had successfully passed all the interviews, medical exams, and things that had taken years to complete.
“Has anything changed?” the interviewer asked. “Are you pregnant at this time?”
With joy, and apprehension, I had to answer, “Yes.”
Our adoption process came to a screeching halt. We were informed that we could renew our application in a couple of years if we were still interested.
As much as I knew I would have loved adopted children, I couldn’t help the joy of my own potential biological motherhood. I believed God’s timing was perfect.
I was totally convinced that if God had spoken to me through a dream, a voice, or an angelic visitation, HE had made no mistake. There was faith and affirmation in my heart that no amount of doubt from anyone else could defeat.
It took months for a pregnancy test to show up positive at the doctor’s office (in the era before home testing). Even the doctor tried to convince me that my enthusiasm and the test results were not compatible.
When the test did show positive, I couldn’t wait to tell everyone. Even my mother tried to soften my expectations for a “son” in case I delivered a bouncing baby girl. At the baby shower, she even bought a little girl’s outfit (which could be returned) just in case the new baby needed a frilly outfit to wear home from the hospital.
I had a normal pregnancy with some issues of pre-eclampsia which required me to quit work earlier than expected. Our health insurance had changed and the baby had to be born after June 1 to be covered on our policy. Again, God’s timing was perfect.
On June 6, 1978, I went for my check up with Dr. O’Neil at Central Baptist Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky. After the examination, he said, “Are you ready to have this baby?”
I laughed and said, “I surely am!” I thought he was making conversation.
“You have a couple of hours to get home, get your bag and get back to the hospital.” He laughed when he saw the startled expression on my face. “This baby is ready to meet Mama. You are already in the beginning stages of labor and dilated to four. No more than two hours before you get back!”
I was stunned. I had been having some pains scattered here and there for a long time. They were still far enough apart that I didn’t recognize them as “regular.”
When I checked in to the hospital, Dr. O’Neil came and signed orders to set me up on a pit drip. He was going to take his wife out for an anniversary dinner that evening. “I’ll see you around midnight,” he said as he left.
Things sped up far too quickly. I was in full blown labor after 7:00 p. m. and in the most excruciating pain I could imagine sweeping over me like the waves of a great storm. My husband was telling me to quit pushing and the nurse was trying to explain to him that I couldn’t stop the contractions and wasn’t pushing on purpose.
The doctor on call was already in the middle of a delivery, my doctor was out to dinner with his wife, and no one was available. It looked like daddy might have to handle the delivery himself with the help of a nurse.
The doctor came rushing in the room in his tuxedo right before 8:00. He checked on the baby and me, scrubbed in, and wheeled me off to delivery. At 8:06, our son was born. When they placed him on my chest, he looked up at me with one little open eye. I felt so sorry for him and the difficult passage through the birth canal that had caused his little face to swell. “Poor little fellow,” I said.
The doctor and staff were making happy guesses about how much he weighed. “He’s a big fellow!” they all agreed.
They cleaned him up and weighed him in at 9 lb. and 8 oz. My doctor was getting ready to go back and finish celebrating with his wife.
I knew something was amiss with me and I told the nurse. When she checked, I was hemorrhaging. I could feel the life blood draining out of me. Everyone broke into full blown panic. The doctor came back and began to put pressure on my abdomen with his fists. Nothing was helping stop the flow of blood.
They started preparing for an emergency procedure. Out of desperation the doctor climbed on the gurney and increased his efforts to press his fists into my belly. I remember thinking that it felt as if an elephant was stomping on me.
“I’m so sorry,” the doctor assured me. “If this works, it is far better than what we’ll have to do in surgery.” I suppose he was referring to a hysterectomy and the end of my ability to produce children. I never asked.
I was praying. I don’t think I realized how close I had come to death and how serious the situation was when the bleeding stopped. God had preserved me.
I stayed in the hospital for a total of eight days while they continued to monitor me and make sure that my blood count was coming back up to normal. When I finally went home, I was weak as a kitten and my mother came to stay with me for a week.
I was instantly in love with my child. As much as I loved his father, I had no idea the depth that would be there of my mother love for him. I wanted to hold him and protect him from every possible hurt. I was as happy as could be just watching him sleep. My beautiful boy!
I have watched my son go through heartache in his life. He had to deal with the disappointment of losing his dad through divorce before he ever reached the age of one. I won’t go into detail of the challenges he faced all through growing up because he was a child of divorce. He was greatly loved on both sides, but also greatly conflicted by his own love for both of us.
In recent years, I watched him go through adult heartache that I would have taken on myself if it were possible. All I could do was love him, stand with him, and continue to pray over him. I could feel the darkness trying to overtake him, and except for prayer and my faith in God’s great faithfulness for him, I didn’t know how to “fix it for him.”
In what seemed like out of nowhere, I had one of the most dramatic visions of my entire life. I was viewing the vision as if I was above the situation, looking down on the whole thing. I saw my son cowering in a dark corner of a room that looked like a basement or a pit of the most nightmarish kind. Above him, peering down through the ceiling was a horde of demons with long claws and teeth. They couldn’t wait to get hold of him and rip him to shreds.
But between him and the creatures that were waiting to attack stood the most glorious of creatures. She was dressed in full armor in a fighting stance with her sword drawn and held up in both hands. Light was shining out of her, out of her sword, and all around her. She was the light which was keeping the demons at bay and was there to protect my child.
“An angel!” I declared.” God has sent an angel to fight for my son and hold back the darkness!”
A voice spoke in my heart with bold authority.
“She is not an angel. This is you. MOTHER.”
I was dumbfounded! There was no way in real life that I even remotely resembled that glorious creature in full battle attire.
The Holy Spirit began to teach me many things from that vision. She was clothed in the, “full armor of God” and the sword she held was, “the Word of God.”
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Being a mother is one of the most important, and most noble roles a woman can play in this life. Whether a woman becomes a mother through the birth process of her own body, adopts children, cares for her siblings, or becomes a mother figure to children in her extended world, the heart of “motherhood” is a wonderful gift.
The calling to be a mother is also a call to be a warrior. If a child is placed in a woman’s care, she has a joyful responsibility, although fraught with challenges, to make a difference in that child’s life.
There will be times that she is the watchman; the guardian standing between her child (or children) and the powers of darkness commissioned to destroy them. When she prays and trusts in God, the armies of heaven are behind her.
God Himself hears the cries of a mother’s prayers for her little ones, no matter what their age. God equips mothers with a warrior’s heart for her children and calls them to intercession for those in her care.
We cannot control our offspring when they grow to adulthood, the decisions they make, or the struggles they face, but we can always be Mother: Warrior in their behalf.
It is my sincerest desire that the stories gathered for this book will encourage the reader, increase faith, and help each one to see herself as God sees her.