The Story of My Birth

My kids have been passing around the flu like a game of hot, hot, feverish potato.

So far, my two-year-old has been hit the worst.

The stomach bug completely stripped him of his smiley, independent demeanor and replaced it with whining, screaming, hitting, and the inability to ever be put down.

For nearly a week now, his favorite words have been “uh-oh” and “throw up”. Plus, he screams about everything while also refusing to be set down.

So I’ve carried him around day after day, listening to his tantrums, absorbing his fever, and knowing that at any moment he could hurl all over me.

I’ve spent every waking moment with the kid, but then I found myself waking up in the middle of the night thinking about him, too.

About how utterly exhausting he has been lately.

And then I remembered the story of his birth.

How his heart rate decelerated every two minutes with each of my contractions. How a stampede of nurses rushed to my room each time that happened to pump me with fluids or readjust my limp, bloated, epidural-filled body. How that made for a really long 20 hours of labor.

How, when his heart rate dropped dangerously low, the doctor finally had to cut him from my body in an emergency C-section.

There I was, lying on an operating table, in a deluge of my blood, too weak and scared to move as they refilled me with my own organs.

IMG_1719The kid and I had been through the gamut together, and it nearly killed us both.

The poor baby’s face was splotched purple with bruising—the swelling so bad he couldn’t even open his eyes—and his skull squished to the side like a misshaped melon.

But it was official.

I had delivered him. He was alive.

The story of his birth—the tumultuous journey of what it took to get him here—now bonds us forever. So strongly, in fact, that nothing—not even exhausting, trying behavior—can strip me of my love for him.

All the difficulties, the strife, the exhaustion as of late faded to the back of my mind, buried beneath thick layers of love and the memories of what it took to get him here.

But Lord knows I’m sick, too. And my condition is both chronic and terminal. This sickness—this sin—completely stripped me of my pure and holy demeanor and replaced it with whining and selfishness.

That’s when I remembered the story of my birth.

My spiritual birth, that is.

How the Son’s Sacred Heart must have skipped a beat when his own people demanded His execution. How a stampede of Roman soldiers rushed in to bludgeon Him or shove His weak, swollen, bloody body toward the cross and then nail Him to it.

How that made for a really long Friday.

There He was, lying on a splintered cross, in a deluge of His blood, as they pierced His side, completing my birth.

He had been through the gamut for me, and it actually killed Him.

His face was disfigured with sweat and blood, dust and spittle—flesh dangling from His body—and his skull was pierced with the long points of mocking thorns.

But it was official.

He had delivered me. I would live.

The story of my birth—the tumultuous journey of what it took to get me here—now bonds us forever. So strongly, in fact, that nothing—neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers—can strip Him of His love for me.

And all the difficulties, the strife, the exhaustion I cause Him fade to the back of His mind, buried beneath thick layers of love and the memories of what it took to get me here.

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