I've been blessed. Out of the dozens (if not hundreds) of stories I've heard first hand or read through print my pregnancy has been a breeze. No major symptoms, no health scares, no mood swings, no cravings. It's been a smooth and steady progression. I'm even sleeping at night (which I hear is a rarity at this point!). Some people have said I look more 6 months pregnant than 9, but boy, do I feel 9 months pregnant! More mentally at this point than anything else. The baby showers are complete, the nursery is finished, the diapers and wipes are in position, the car seat is firmly secured, the hospital bag has been in the car since last week when my OBGYNO said I could deliver that night or in 3 weeks, because our little man was in position and everything was progressing as it should.
The irony, is how much I"m anticipating labor and delivery. I mean, what kind of craziness is that? Obviously I'm not anticipating the pain, or the laboring, but the outcome. I realize how traumatic and life changing an event of birth is to every women who has ever experienced it because I've watched and listened to women, friends, relatives and complete strangers share with me, at a drop of a hat, their birthing stories. Usually in great, intense, detail, like it were yesterday. And I would think it was yesterday, if it weren't for one lovely lady concluding "My baby is 34 this year. Hard to believe how time flies!". And it hits me. This is a monumental life moment. Greater than any other before or after it. For it far exceeds graduation, your wedding, landing a dream job, taking a world trip or literally anything else that can happen to a person in life. Those things, no matter how great, will not make a women packing your groceries and checking you out (who you've never met before) burst into spontaneous story telling and intimate details of her birth story. From how many cm she was dilated when she arrived at the hospital to the very conversations she had with hospital staff and beyond. This is a moment engraved, forever, upon the heart and mind of every mother. And I'm about to enter the club.
I couldn't help but see the striking similarity between these moments to the moments God must cherish every time a person surrenders and gives their life to him, accepting salvation. I imagine each of our salvation stories are etched on God's heart and mind in such vivid color He could, and will (one day when we get to Heaven) recite each one, as though it were happening in that very moment, regardless of the time lapsed. I realized that Just like Jesus we mothers, nearing that day, anticipate it with great joy and excitement...knowing it will be painful, exhausting, long and the most difficult thing we've ever done. But we can't wait! Because of the outcome and the final result of our pain and laboring. I imagine that is how God feels for every heart and for every lost soul. Knowing the hurt it will cause Him, the pain we have all cost Him, but he progresses with great hope and anticipation. Because the joy exceeds any pain, loss or suffering He will go through with each of us. Those things fade in comparison to the elation of one lost soul accepting Jesus. One lost sheep finding The Shepherd. And suddenly the pain is worth every moment of the final victory. Jesus knew this at the very first bite of the forbidden fruit. The pregnancy of this world had begun, and would continue for a very long time, but the outcome was secure. The decision was made to continue with the pregnancy and not abort it. Because no matter how high the cost, how great the pain, how hard the struggle, how close the call, Jesus, the Son of God, knew the outcome would be worth every single moment. The commitment to see it through was made. How loving a God do we have? Who would suffer for us as a human race, watching us tear apart His reputation, destroy His judgments, turn against Him, deny Him and wreak havoc upon His creation. But still He waits, anticipating, with great joy, for every single individual, for that moment of one heart accepting Him as the Savior of the world.
God is good. God is love. And I'm so thankful He labored for me (and you) so that we could be sure of our salvation and eternity with Him. Because to Him, you and I are worth it.
So when the twinkling lights turn on, the baked treats and goodies make their way to the trays and Christmas carols meet you on every corner. I hope this Christmas season you are filled with joy unimaginable. Because we celebrate the Baby that changed the world. The baby that was born to die, so that you and I could live.