It has been far too long since I last wrote a blog. Every once in a while something strikes me as important enough to put down in writing and send out into the world. Most of the time, I am distracted by children, life, etc. Sometimes it actually happens. Today will be one of those times.
It has been just over 5 weeks since our newest little one joined our family. Elliana was born on Leap Day after what felt like a long pregnancy filled with discomforts. On our first Sunday back to church, I stood worshiping, still sore from childbirth and had what was one of my deepest theological moments in a while.
Ellie was my second pain-med-free childbirth. With both Sami and Ellie, I had to have Pitocin to speed up labor with stronger more painful contractions but I was determined to endure it without the drugs for a long list of reasons, none necessary to list here. There is always a moment in labor I hit when drugs sound like a great idea- when my body screams at me "why have you forsaken me???" It doesn't happen until too late though. It isn't too long after that moment that my beautiful child is delivered into my arms and I am immediately filled with an intense love like no other. I lay exhausted, embracing my child, my newest love and it is all worth it.
As I stood worshiping, I thought how it made sense- life comes only after suffering. This is just the way it has to be. I only can have eternal life because of the One who suffered and died for me. I always take time to really ponder what it meant that Jesus suffered and died for me, for us all, on Good Friday. While natural childbirth certainly pales in comparison to crucifixion, it is some of the most intense pain I have experienced. Every woman who gives birth has to go through pain. Those who have c-sections have painful recoveries and even those who deliver vaginally with an epidural have pain to deal with afterward. However, only with natural childbirth do women really get the same intense level of pain throughout the process. It is hard to explain to those who have not experienced it, but it is an amazing process and totally worth it in the end. The life of your child, something so beautiful and amazing, comes from something so painful. I realized that the reason it feels so right, is because it is an image of something greater and more powerful- that our eternal life, our Re-birth was contingent upon our Savior's suffering.
I had always wondered, of all things, why childbirth had to become painful for women after the Fall and original sin. It just didn't seem fair. This Good Friday, I think of it differently. Before the Fall, birth didn't have to be painful and Christ's suffering wasn't required either. After the Fall, eternal life could not be attained without the suffering of another. From the moment sin entered into the world, God knew that ultimately a painful price would have to be paid for us to have eternal life with him. The consequence of painful childbirth for women was a foreshadow of this. From that moment on, life could only be received through suffering. We are born into this world through our mothers' suffering and we can only be re-born into eternity due to the suffering of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This Good Friday and Easter I am happy to have such a powerful and fresh reminder of what God did for us all. Just as every ounce of pain in pregnancy and birth is worth the life that came from it, I am honored to know that the unimaginable pain Christ endured on the cross for us all was all worth it to God, that we might have eternal life with Him. How Great is the Father's Love!!