The ultimate labor of love
This year has turned a new chapter in our lives as we've welcomed our first born, Nolan Elliott, into our lives. With this has come an outpouring of grace, as every day I find myself confronting something new that I have no experience or knowledge of, and as we turn to God for prayer and guidance, we are blessed to see the Holy Spirit giving us peace and direction. But I want to share something else: giving birth is intense!! The actual labor part, it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. Not just the most painful, because it was by faaaaaaaaar, but the hardest because it pushed me to the very end of myself (no pun intended). I just got to the point where it was so painful I didn't want to push anymore, but I had to. There was no other choice. One way or another this baby had to come out. I couldn't comprehend how my pushing was possibly ever going to cause this baby to come out, it just seemed crazy (proportionally) and I couldn't really understand the physics of it. But I had to trust that if I kept pushing, somehow, some way, it would work out. And every time I felt like it was too hard I heard a little voice inside me say "keep going, push even harder. Because if you don't you're going to be here a lot longer. Embrace the pain." And I knew it was going to be true, if I stopped pushing it would only get worse, and that was not a fun thought, so I had to take myself to the end of myself, and to embrace it. My physical body wanted it to stop but my spirit said keep going.
And finally, 4 hours after my water broke, Nolan was born. And my world changed completely for the better, and I would never take a single thing back from the pain, or the labor, because the gift of this precious life is worth all of it and more.
I was reminded of what Jesus did for us, and how He had to die to himself while trusting God for the promise that was given. Even when everyone turned against Him, when He was abused and raised on the cross He had to hold on to the faith that this was all worth it and what was to come would be exactly what was needed. He had to hold on to that faith, and welcome pain to the point of death, before He ever got to realize the promise that God had declared. I can't imagine having to endure to the point of death, but going through the labor pains of birth gives me a little glimpse into it. I'm just so awed by the inner strength that Jesus had in this moment, and His unshakeable faith in God. I'm grateful He knew in His great wisdom that it would all be worth it in the end. And as a result, how blessed we all are, that we can be born again through what was His labor for us. That we can, by faith, be saved and not by works or by earthly birth right. So grateful for his sacrifice, because it means our salvation. His death and resurrection is our entrance to life. There is no other way.
Prayer: Thank you Father for loving me so much and putting such a high value on my life that You sent Your only Son to die for me on the cross that I might have the opportunity to live with You! Thank you Jesus for sacrificing Yourself so that we can have a place with You in heaven. I pray that You would continually open my heart to be as self sacrificing as You have been, to put others before myself and to continue to pursue You and to do the work that You have set for me to do no matter what the cost.