Friday, January 15, 2016

Tears of Joy

The room is quiet as I slip away, past the curtain that surrounds the small area where a sweet woman is laboring. I'm leaving to fill up another glass with water for her. When I return, she is sitting on the bed, leaning forward and taking a deep breath. I move the glass close to her and she takes a brief sip before gripping onto her abdomen as another contraction rolls through her body.
"Oh, Jesus." She cries out.
I remind her to breathe. I'm able to get her eyes to meet mine and she slowly takes a deep breath with me. "You are doing so well." I smile and she nods. "Jesus will help you. He can give you all the strength you need and you will see your baby soon. Let's pray for Him to give your strength."
She nods, and reaches out to grab my hand. Together we pray.
The next hour goes quickly. Soon, she is telling me she is ready to have her baby. It is only minutes later that we welcome her little baby into the world, immediately placing his squirming body on her chest so she can hold him for the first time. I look up at her after her son is in her arms and watch as tears slide down her face and then deep sobs well up within her. 
"You did so well! Wow, mama, you did it! Your baby is here!"
She nods but continues to sob. 
It takes another 30 minutes before I can actually sit and talk with her again. Her baby is holding onto her finger and she smiles at me. "He's holding my hand."
She is so in love, and my heart begins to melt too.
"Wow, it is so crazy that your body is able to create a baby!"
She nods eagerly, "Yes, so crazy and so amazing!" 
"God is so awesome that He can create your body to make a new life! He is so special."
"That is why I was crying." Her eyes meet mine as her hand strokes her baby. "It hurt so much, but now he is here. They were tears of joy."
Six months have passed since I last wrote. The routine of life is very much the same, yet I feel like I have changed so much. I have grown and learned an incredible amount is so short a time. I share this story of a sweet mama that I had the joy to be with during such an intimate experience in her life. I truly love being able to pray with her, to encourage her, and to sit next to her while she holds her baby for the first time. 
Yet I am also challenged because no matter how much I enjoy spending my days with women or learning more about women's bodies and the process of birth, there are times when I am exhausted, when I miss being home with my family, and when I just want to take a break.
Jesus is reminding me that I can abide in Him and receive refreshment in His presence. No matter how my emotions change, how my circumstances change, or how my sleep patterns change, He is steadfast. I can always be with Him, I can be in His presence. I am much more effective when He is constantly filling me up than when I seek to do anything based on the moment or how I am feeling. Regardless of my good intentions, He is purely good. I desire His heart, and I know that I will only find that by being with Him.
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." - Jesus (John 15:4-5)
Remember, my sweet friends, that when we remain in the presence of our Savior, He will enable us for all things He has intended for us to be and do.