Her voice stunned me out of my trance like state as pushed through the consistent surges of the most intense pain I’ve ever felt. I remember crying out, “Help me! Tell me what to do!”
“Look at me Charissa! Look.at.me! You need to do this… for the baby! Grab behind your knees, pull up your legs! Open up!” My midwife’s voice carried an urgency that commanded my attention.
In those final seconds of labor I did everything in my power to bring out my sweet boy into the world. I panted, hyperventilating, losing all control of my once rhythmic breathing. I screamed loudly, wildly, unhindered bellows of agony that I didn’t even know I could release.
All of this… it wasn’t about me. The midwife made that very clear.
It was for him. All him.
I knew I had to do it now, but as every mother can tell you- the thought passed through my mind that I might die before he made his entrance into the world. But I kept remembering what she said… open up. I had to give up all control, dive into the deepest physical pain I’d ever known, and stay there.
My eyes went from fiery and focused, to tightly shut as new life began to birth from within. I couldn’t watch, I could only wail in pain.
I tell you part of my birth story because I believe it’s all of our birth stories.
Isn’t God calling us all, everyday, to look at Him…to let go of our own life…to open up…to surrender to the pain of birthing new life? Doesn’t His voice carry with it an urgency that redirects our gaze from an inward focus on our suffering to an outward walk of selflessness?
I think so.
If we could only see what really goes on as flesh and blood wrestle against principalities and powers-our old sinful nature being transformed into a beautiful creation in Christ.
The birthing of new life is messy, bloody, and painful. As I type that sentence I am immediately ushered to the cross where I see Jesus. His hands outstretched, opened up, hanging vulnerable for the world to see.
I can’t even begin to imagine the kind of pain He experienced.
But Jesus gave it all up, turned His eyes to the Father and breathed his last. In his final act of surrender He pushed new life into the world…for us.
He reversed the equation once and for all. No longer is life found through our feeble attempts to hold on and to save and succeed, to stay in control.
He showed us a different way, the way of surrender and sinking into the ocean of His love, whirling and swirling, out of control we spin. We cry out in our pain, we try to make sense of the crashing waves of suffering, and from within our spirit comes a desperate plea, “Help me!”
Then, suddenly almost by surprise, we find new life, abundant, full, and free life lying fresh and soft on our chest.
I believe that the new life Jesus talks about is waiting to burst forth in the delivery room of our daily lives. New life wants to slide out into our worlds and change us completely – identity and all.
New life is waiting to be birthed through us, but it takes courage to endure the process. It takes humility to let go. It takes fiery passion and intense focus to open up and let the new life we’ve been given come out. But sadly, we often ignore His strong and urgent voice- guiding us to our deepest joy and purpose.
“Look at me,” Jesus says. “You’ve got to do this!”
We don’t endure the birthing process just for own sake. It’s about others and ultimately, it’s about Him. As our hearts and lives become the delivery room of new life in Christ- we are transformed. Then, those around us are also invited into this curious celebration and God’s glory is revealed to the watching world!
How can you keep your gaze on Jesus today and let Him birth new life in and through you?
What if everyday had a kind of birth story in it?