Birthing is hard work — hence, the term "labor". I'm well aware that giving birth to a human has nothing to do with the American national holiday known as Labor Day — when we honor and recognize the history of organized labor movements and working people. Umm... doesn't that truly describe all moms? I digress.
Back to giving birth — after being almost three weeks late with my first baby... in the month of May... in Texas... I was desperate. So... I drank castor oil. An entire 4-ounce bottle. Approximately an hour later (probably before the castor oil took effect), labor began immediately following a hardy Italian meal. What was I thinking?
Get this kid out of me!
I'm tired of hauling extra weight!
I'm exhausted and irritable and ready to move to the next chapter.
Being pregnant is like that. Even for those of you who have not carried a child — maybe you have seized an opportunity, cultivated a passion, or launched a dream. Or thought about it.
pregnant | adj. - full of meaning; highly significant; of great importance or potential; momentous.
As image-bearers of Christ, we are each pregnant with holy ambition. Yes, YOU! You have gifts, talents, experiences, pain, and passion that is uniquely yours. And according to scripture, God created you for good works which He has already prepared to fulfill [Eph 2:10].
I've had the privilege of bearing children, however a more excellent honor is bearing the marks of Christ. Let's take a look at this scripture Paul was writing to churches in the region surrounding Galatia.
But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.
And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. - Galatians 6:14-17
Throughout the book of Galatians, Paul encouraged believers to walk in grace and freedom which would produce the fruit of the Spirit - marks of the Lord. And then to act on it - share burdens, be generous, do good, and brag about all Jesus has and is doing in your life. The marks are visible and used for His glory!
That's exactly what Paul did in his own life. His aptitude for writing and communicating, coupled alongside his zeal for utility and unity created the platform that Christ could use to ultimately glorify Himself through Paul's redemptive story. Did you get that?
Paul — pregnant with an aptitude and zeal > rescued and redeemed by Christ > labored for the individual believer and collective church to bring glory to Jesus.
So... what's your birth story? Still in progress? Amazing — reflect on your past, ponder your present, and consider the future. There are colorful threads throughout your narrative that God wants to use to birth something beautiful. Restless by Jeannie Allen is a great resource that can help you process wherever you are in the journey.
My journey with castor oil took a "messy" turn 🤮💩 (pun intended). I finally delivered our first son, Reece, after twenty-eight hours of intense labor in an emergency room with no epidural, a wall full of med students, and a husband that almost passed out. What an ordeal! Some pregnancy and birth stories are cake & ice cream and others are... castor oil. But all are worth the dreaming, the digging, and the dawn of something new.
Where am I currently?