I am a creature of extreme habit and order. I go to the grocery store every week, after a workout, to do my weekly shopping. It is here, at the grocery store, that I often find myself choking down the lump in my throat. I know this sounds strange but it’s true. On this morning run to the grocery store is where I am faced with what seems to be all the moms of young kids in College Station, Tx. I watch the moms fumble through, trying to keep their kids entertained while stocking up for the upcoming week. I watch the kids get so excited to play the “games” at the front of the store. And it’s here, in this moment, every week, that I realize AGAIN that my babies aren’t babies anymore.
It’s a strange feeling because I’m happy with their ages now of course! I’m proud of them and LOVE to see them learning to navigate the waters of their teen years! But those younger years, when people would stop us to say that my youngest looked just like the little girl on Monster’s Inc., with her pig tails and funny little hop in her walk. Or asking me whose blond-haired, blue-eyed child I was keeping. She’s mine btw ;). I could go on, but you get my point.
So, I try to reason with myself, that this emotion is silly! All children grow up! Life is good! I get in my car and drive myself to Sonic to drown my sorrows over a Diet DP. Don’t judge me! It’s better than Whip Cream infused vodka, right!? And I try to think on their futures and how fun it will be (Lord willing) to see them graduate from College, get their first job, start their own families!
This morning, after going through the above routine, I remembered how God relates our lives to the pains of child-birth.
“It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world.” John 16:21
I realize that my above example of grieving the fact that my kids are growing up is a poor example of grief. I know people suffer much worse every hour. I have suffered much worse. Just track with me here. This was my thought process.
So, if we think of life as child-birth, here’s what we can expect. Our happiest moments, when everything is working out perfectly and everyone under your care is happy, these moments are comparable to the lull in labor.
I had great epidurals with 3 out of 4 of my kids. But that one blond hair blue-eyed Tamplin that I referred to earlier, gave me a run for my money. It HURT!!!!!! But in the down time, when God would have mercy and the contractions would briefly subside, I would go right back to thinking about that baby! How I could not wait to get my hands on him/her! I imagined her meeting her brother and sister! I couldn’t wait for her to meet all of her grandparents! I couldn’t wait to see what she looked like and learn her personality! Then that pain would come back and I turned into a monster! Yelling and begging anyone that walked in the door to “Get this thing out of me!!”. True story.
I love this realization, because after she was born, I NEVER in a million years would have thought “That was so not worth it! I wish I hadn’t done that!” As a matter of fact, I didn’t think anymore on the pain of it! I didn’t leave the hospital crying and terrified of what I had just experienced. Because the prize (and of course I’m referring to the baby. Not the dreamy concoction that awesome nurse put right into my iv!) at the end of that pain was better than anything I could imagine!
This life often sucks! Things happen that I cannot understand! Things have happened to me and around me that no one could make sense of in my head! Everyone goes through terrible unexplainable times. And these times are without a doubt the worst part of labor. The peak of a contraction. We yell and plead for relief in these “peaks”. We “groan as in the pains of childbirth” and believers are by no means immune to this pain!
“even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children” Romans 8:22&23
BUT, I believe that when we get to that moment of delivery from this world “Our grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.” This is the moment when all of the pain and suffering that we go through in this life, will be worth it! In eternity, the memories of our life will be just as our memories of childbirth. Maybe we’ll sit around and tell stories of our labor pain, while we hold those we lost earlier than we wanted! I’m not sure how it will look, but I know that I know that I know it will have been worth it!
Happy Labor Day Week!
In loving memory of my precious nephew
Can’t wait to see you again!