Monday, March 1, 2010

It's What Makes Us Who We Are

Childbirth. Every woman from the time they are little thinks about one day giving birth and having children. The desire to bring forth life is literally written on our very souls. Our entire system, as women, is designed to propagate life. It's who we are. And it's definitely who we're meant to be.

It's as old as creation. When God dealt with Eve's sin in the garden He specifically singled out her femininity when He mentioned that she would bring forth children in pain. The very thing that was meant to bless and that set apart her apart from man, was brought out and cursed. Yet there was still hope as God reminded Eve that one of her offspring would one day overcome the serpent and free mankind from its bondage with sin. "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel." Genesis 3:15 Satan would strike at man's heel in an attempt to obliterate man by separating him from God but in the end, he would be overcome. So even in the fall, there was hope...and this hope came through the promise of offspring, a Savior--Jesus Christ.

It's no wonder that birth itself touches women to the core for it is our very femininity that is being discussed. Whenever I am with a group of women who have children, often times birth stories are brought up and shared. Each woman's story is as different as they come, unique to her as an individual yet, still tying her to her sisters in the room. And no one can deny it. We want to talk about it because it's who we are. It's how we're designed. Again, it's who we're meant to be.

But it's never a free ride. With all of the joy comes so much pain and this pain comes from deep within because it's our very souls, what makes us feminine, that is at stake. Some women experience infertility and miscarriage and some without ever having a reason. These women ache so deeply and so truly that women who have never been through such disappointment and sorrow cannot understand. We can only imagine, stand on the sidelines, lend an ear, offer a shoulder and pray. Others lose children in childbirth. It still happens. I know someone personally. And to attempt to put those feelings into words would never even do justice to the pain experienced there. Only God can surmount those mountains. Only God can lift the eyes of those women. Yet we can pray fervently on our knees for comfort and be there to cry.

Others, like the majority of women, merely don't get the type of birth they thought they'd get. Or maybe they do for some children but not for others. It turns out to be something totally different than what they thought it would be. But in the end, with a keen eye looking backward, they can see how God used that birth in the laying down in death to give life to another, to bring about much needed hope, change, growth and perseverance.

There's nothing like it. Nothing touches us all so deeply as the very birth of our children. Yet, we cannot worship it. We cannot trust it. We cannot rely on it. But we can worship. Birth should make us worship. Not ourselves. Not our accomplishments. Not how fast we labored or how many times we pushed. Not how many children we have or how much pain we can endure. We must worship the One who gave us this gift. The One who allowed it all to come into fruition. The One who put it all into place.

"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." Psalm 139: 13-16

It is in that worship that we can see the beauty of all that God has given us, the good and the bad, and we can know that God is using our very selves, our very core to change us and bless us. And in that realization, we can be thankful. We must be thankful.

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