I’ve never told my birth story publicly. It was far from the candle filled water birth I’d imagined – in fact it was the total opposite of what I’d hoped. Three types of induction, hooked up to monitors, pethidine and an epidural before my newborn was whisked away for observations and antibiotics.
Within hours, I knew that these words from Sarah Bessey were true.
“Birth is never not a miracle…It’s never not the best and most at the same time.”
I’ve been wondering what Mary’s birth was like.
We know there was no pain relief, that there was no shiny hospital or consultants on call.
But was it long? Did she wonder if she could do it? Did she beg and plead for it to be over?
(I’m guessing she didn’t cry “it’s like the cruciatus curse!” like I did at some point between my waters breaking and being given pethidine.)
The thing is, whichever way we look at it, birthing is painful.
The seed breaking through the ground to the light.
The baby breaking through to begin life in the outside world.
The butterfly breaks through its cocoon to fly.
The stars break through night’s sky.
We can’t separate birthing from breaking.
But that also means we can’t separate breaking from beauty.
The pain of birth certainly felt like a breaking, if nothing else it was a breaking of my old life, but the new life was and is undoubtedly beautiful.
All too often, we hold back from the birthing because we fear the breaking. We fear breaking ourselves open to allow God to do a deeper work, we fear breaking open new possibilities in case we fail.
But there is good news. It is called the gospel, after all.
Jesus went first, He was birthed and he broke through every barrier between us and God.
Alia Joy writes in her book “Glorious Weakness”
“It was always the plan that in the midst of the catastrophic brokenness in this world, grace would surprise us all.”
As Christmas approaches, let the birth of hope in Jesus surprise us with its grace and allow it to fill our brokenness.