Labor.
Pain.
Work.
Exhaustion.
Perseverance.
Will.
Surrender.
Tears.
Joy.
Pride.
Love.
Peace.
Life.

My Daddy brought up an amazing point tonight as we read the Christmas Story. He was reflecting on the labor of Mary that brought about the birth of Christ. He mentioned wondering of she birthed alone- there was no midwife on call in bethlehem! He wondered if Joseph helped. Then the conversation turned to the custom of that time.
I am no expert, but from my limited understanding, the male was not allowed to be involved in the birthing process as it was considered unclean.
I have labored. Three times I have been through the birthing process. Three times I chose to avoid medication as a personal preference. It’s possible! I loved it and would do it again, should we ever have another child. But one thing I can’t imagine is birthing without Trey. He was my rock. He was my strength when I wanted to give up- he was my support. The only support that mattered. As long as he was with me, the pain was bearable.
I cannot begin to imagine leaving your home, with your new husband to travel to a foreign place. Then to discover you are in labor. No preparation, no birth kit, no hospital, no midwife. Just you, alone, to bring this baby- miraculous or not- that is overwhelming to me. My mind cannot imagine laboring in a stable alone. Countless little miracles took place to bring our savior to this earth. The thoughts and feelings of Mary overwhelm me on this special day of remembrance. The strength that woman had to have. The trust she possessed. The blind (ok, not completely blind- there was that angel…) faith in knowing this was the savior of the earth.
Labor changes you. I don’t care what anyone says- it takes over at a certain point. You can’t control your own body. I wonder if she kept in mind the importance of this child. I wonder if she had written down- hes the savior of the world, I can do this. I wonder what she told herself to get through the next contraction. I wonder what made her keep going. I also know that our God is merciful. I can imagine the peace surrounding such a birth. Still my questions come.

My excitement about the gifts tomorrow is overshadowed by how humbled I am by THE gift. It makes me think of the many lives that lived open to his calling to make his coming a reality. Divine orchestration is such a beautiful thing. The all-knowing one is able to bring together us fallible, sinful creatures to bring about the greatest gift in the history of the world.

He wasn’t surprised by Mary’s labor. He wasn’t worried about the lack of room. He wasn’t flustered by the seemingly unnoticeable entrance into earth. Nope- he planned it all, before the foundations of the earth. Amazing, overwhelming, surprising, fascinating-these words can’t come close to describing the awe we should have in this day. The day Christ chose to become man. The day Hope was born anew. The day our reconciliation became possible. The day God reached down and humbled himself so that we could live again.

My questions will one day (if I can even remember by then) be answered. I hope to converse with Mary about the birth of the King of Kings. To swap birth stories… šŸ™‚ But the feeling I am left with is gratitude. I am grateful. Grateful for every human who made his coming possible. Grateful for the person who told my parents of his return. Grateful for my own salvation. Grateful for His sacrifice. Grateful for the freedom to worship Him on this day. Grateful that my kids will have the chance to know Him. Grateful for a family that celebrates the true meaning of Christmas. I am blessed. What are you grateful for on this day of remembrance?

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