Friday, December 23, 2011

Bethlehem

INTRODUCTION 

My daughter didn't come into this world in the most ideal circumstances. An unwed pregnant 20 year old living out of her car on and off, dating an abusive man I let get me pregnant because I cared so little about myself and my life. 

Mary and I, (Jesus'mother), didn't have a great birth plan. Neither of us planned months ahead of time where we were going to deliver,we certainly didn't go visit the facilities. Nowadays, women seem take this concept to a whole new level; planning out not only where they will give birth, but how. Drugs, no drugs, perfect breathing and soothing CD's, and because I'm rusty in this department, I'm not sure what all the other options are....giving birth in the ocean maybe?

The abuse for me hadn't started with my childs dad, this unworthiness stemmed from years of abuse from boys and men, which is what led to my reckless behavior. I was on the fast track to utter darkness. I was acting out of who I thought I was--. A useless, dirty, unworthy, unlovable good for nothing dumb ______ ...you fill in the blank. 

It's like the darkness was closing in on me; little did I know the Light of the world was pursuing me all along. Little did I know that so many unwed pregnant teens can relate partially to Mary's story. 

Even in our darkest hours, our most ugliest of ugly days, or years for that matter, God saves us from our mire pit. Nothing is too "far gone" for Him. Nothing. Not even my wretchedness. Not even yours. 

MY BIRTH EXPERIENCE 

If I said I had a complicated, painful, unpredictable, abusive childhood, it would still be an understatement. I wanted to take the time to share that with all of you today. It's a story I shared on my blog 4 years ago.

I have a pretty traumatic birth story.The birth of my daughter that is,  and it still couldn't compare to Mary's.
I was 20 years old, and it was 4:30am. My baby daddy (is that too ridiculous to say?!), was still drunk from the night before, even after I begged him not to drink an ounce because I knew I was in labor the morning of that day. The contractions were 10-15 minutes apart, all that day and we had been at a wedding that day. I was singing "The Rose" by Bette Midler at the ceremony. 

My mom was out of town, my best friend was no where to be found, and my sister was telling me it probably isn't time. To go back to bed. But I had to go. I had to move. You know what I'm talking about if you've been in labor.

It had been 16 hours or so of mild labor, and now, my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. 

I had to drag my childs dad out of bed. And when I say drag, I mean it. There are many things I would now know to do differently, and that would have been one of them: leave him in bed.
After splashing water on his face, he finally woke up, and without grabbing a thing--we didn't have a bag packed anyway, we headed out the door, all the while I'm holding onto my belly because I was in so much pain. 

I had to be the driver. You heard that right. I drove myself to the hospital in labor, with contractions 2, to maybe 3 minutes a part.
As I pulled out of the driveway, I felt and heard someone pound on my car. 
I slammed on my breaks, and got out of the car to some guy yelling, 

"What do you think you are doing, you almost hit me B_____!"
Then my childs father runs over to the guy and starts pouncing on him and they
proceed to get in a brawl, and someones head ends up in the concrete garage wall, while me and the guys girlfriend were screaming stop, 
"I'm in labor!" "She's in labor can't you see, stop!"
as i am literally bent over in the worst possible pain of my life.

We drove away with my baby daddy having a black eye, and scratches all over his face.
Down the interstate I go, driving 80 mph while the contractions let up.
I drop it to about 25mph while the contractions come on strong, and moments where I almost fail to hit the gas.
It was almost an hours drive.
When we arrive at the hospital, (not my perfectly picked out "birth place"), 
the first thing they do is tend to my childs father's messed up face!
I stood there knelt over seriously like, "This has got to be a joke!"

I finally made it to my room and my needless to say, my childs father passed out for the remainder of my birth experience. which was a good thing.

My mom arrived with 20 minutes to spare thank goodness,
my dad was there talking about the weather and how cold it was outside, it was 12 below,  (January 15),
and my sister was by my side. A healthy 8 pound 3 ounce 21 inches long baby girl was born. I'm not sure how much Jesus weighed.

CONCLUSION 

But all this mess could never compare to Mary's experience while in labor.
I can't imagine being on a donkey, in labor, experiencing such excruciating pain , fatigued, beyond frustrated, hot, sticky, and climbing all those hills. How exhausted she must have been, and that's put it mildly.
Not the most perfect of circumstances.

Tradition tells us that it was really a cold night the night Jesus was born. But I've learned differently. I've come to learn that the month probably wasn't even December, but most likely June, and I've learned that it was probably actually really hot. 
Again, how uncomfortable.


Even two very dark, and gritty nights, could not stop two babies from being born hours later.
Jesus nor my daughter were born in the prettiest or most ideal situations, but what emerged from the most bleak, scary, and uncertain dark times, was light... 

 Jesus is the Light of the world. He is our Savior.  He is the dark saving, human rescuer,  light installer of our lives! 

He came to save. To actually save! Hearing that Jesus is the Savior of the world can be numbing after a while....we all hear it and it can become desensitizing. And as you can tell by my story, I needed a lot of saving. The way I learn is by learning what things actually mean. Like by definition. To save someone is to RESCUE them. Like someone drowning in the ocean....a lifeguard runs out and goes out of the way, to save that one person. Jesus does the same. He's in the rescuing business. And not just from eternal separation, but from our own darkness. He saves us from ourselves. The Light of the world makes it personal with us, and no darkness is too dark for His light to shine in. 

Our circumstances, much like mine and Mary's birth stories, don't have to be untroubled, pain free or happy for beauty to be birthed. We can be hot, bothered, irritated, miserable, angry, confused and lost, and still find the light.

Psalm 139:12

"Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." 

What darkness in your life needs the Light of the world?



9 comments:

Shane Prather said...

Wow. I'm speechless. Thanks for sharing this. Hope you have a wonderful christmas :)

xo Shane
shaneprather.blogspot.com

Darby said...

I agree with you 100% Gina! If we as Christians would be honest and open about our imperfections and mis-steps I really think that other people would begin to believe and follow in our footsteps. I have found that there are many people who won't go to church or seek out God because they believe many Christians to he hypocrits. I wish people would learn to embrace their flaws and imperfections....share them and seek to find the truth and the light through our savior. For only through him will we become complete.

Erin said...

I adore this post. i am a huge advocate for transparency and realism. I don't want to put on this facade like I am good and without flaw....cause all of us are with sin and always mess up. I think that if we were more real and honest...instead of judgemental, more people would be drawn to Christianity. :) Thanks for sharing!

Ferial Trammell said...

Such a great post, dear! Thank so much for sharing your birth story and your reflections. EMMANUEL!

Cherry said...

Christmas is truly about Christ. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you my dear... Have a blast!

greeting card for you!
http://moochinginspirations.blogspot.com/2011/12/greetings.html

vintch said...

oh my gracious. thank you for pointing me in the direction of this post, sweet friend. what an awesome analogy you painted. i can only imagine the craziness of your night, much like i can only visualize what mary must have gone through. but you're so right! we aren't called to be neat, orderly christians! we are messy, flawed and awful at times, but we are saved by His grace. this was so deeply written, i could feel your heart leap across the screen. you've got a writing gift, dear. thank you for sharing it with us!

Chelsea Coleen said...

your blog my dear, is so refreshing :)

fiddlehead said...

Gina....your birth story has myjaw dropping and tear in my eyes. It really is amazing... your strength is what shines through, and while I know you aren't compating yourself to her, it is much like Mary and the strength mothers must endure for their babies.
Merry Christmas!
Jeni

chambanachik said...

Beautiful.