I watched a handful of women labor during my nursing school labor and delivery rotation.
But, I only remember one of them.
She gave birth completely naturally, and her birthing experience changed me somewhere deep inside. I remember going back to my dorm room and rereading the verses in Genesis where God handed out this curse. I pondered it all, replaying her experience over and over in my mind and solidifying my desire to one day give birth naturally.
Without medications to numb the pain, I wanted to feel it, to know it in its entirety.
I watched this woman filled with pain, agony, actually. She yelled out, said she wanted to quit, wanted out, but there was no way out. And, then as the pain escalated, her cries at their peak. . .
the baby came. . .
And, the room full of pain and tension instantly gave birth to peace and joy.
Husband relaxed and cried and rejoiced.
Worn completely to the end of herself, the mother's pained expression turned instantly to a face beaming with beauty and love.
I was drawn to something in that room. It wouldn't let me go. For weeks I thought of her ~ the beauty I had witnessed in that delivery room. I longed to one day experience it for myself ~ to birth beauty from agony. To give all of myself so that another could live ~ to feel it deeply, fully, to hold nothing back.
As God allowed me to experience this all over again one more time just a few weeks ago, I was taken back to the first time I witnessed it as a young student standing with my back to the wall fighting tears.
And, as Easter is upon us, I began to wonder. . .
Maybe that is why I am so drawn to this experience? Doesn't everything point to Him? To the One Who gave His all for us?
To the One Who walked that angry hill for you and for me. . .
To the One Who so beautifully suffered excruciating pain, agony unimaginable. . .
To the One Who gave Himself over fully...
To the One Who held nothing back. . .
To the One Whose pain birthed Life for us Who are in Him. . .
He Who suffered greatly, suffered to give us Life. . .
To me, it is such a picture of what Jesus did for me, and therein lies the beauty.
When I finished giving birth to Jack, my young curly, red-headed nurse came back into my room after the doctor and other nurses had left, and looked me in the eyes saying, "That was so pretty. You've inspired me." And, I thought to myself, "It wasn't me."
We are all drawn to Him, to His love. He is all around us, in our daily experiences ~ if we will open our eyes and see all of life pointing to Him, to the cross, to life and love abundant.
And, I thank Him today as we celebrate the day of His agony. I thank Him that the pain was not in vain, but gave birth to big, beautiful, abundant LIFE.