I wish I had the camera in my reach because to get to the keyboard I am reaching over a little curled up bean of a boy in a polka dot onesie with his daddy’s toes and his grandma’s fingers and my nose and my funny little twitch-and-shiver. He’s sleeping contentedly, with a full stomach. Finally. It has been a long four days since labor started.
I never understood the need to write a birth story until I gave birth, if you can call a c-section giving birth. That story will come later.
For now, it is sufficient to say that the beginning of my beautiful son’s life has been a testimony to the truth of God’s promise: in pain you will bring forth children. This little son of ours has brought us joy that we’d never imagined and pain, too. “The curse” is real.
But just now I want to make note of what I’m finding it means to be a mommy. Overwhelmed, to put it mildly, by all that’s happened and all that lies ahead, I held onto my incision and breathed through the pain while I laid a screaming Jacob down to change him. I kissed my husband – my strength – goodbye as he left to teach an organ lesson, and embarked on my first moments alone as a mother. Jacob wouldn’t stop screaming, something we’ve gotten used to (and scared of!) these last two days. A rare moment of spiritual good sense made me realize the only smart way to spend this hour and a half alone was in worship and prayer. The only thing clear to my groggy head is that I’m going to need that on this journey. So I rocked and soothed until the screaming stopped–for a moment–and then began to sing. My hormone-cracked, sleep-deprived voice was just about matched with my low lung capacity and it was not great music.
I sang Rock of Ages, O The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus, Come Thou Fount of Ev’ry Blessing, In Christ Alone… I think there were a few others. It was more for me than for him, but as I sang, staring into his face, I realized he’d never heard these before. Being a mother means being a teacher. And being a Christian mother means teaching my child the truths of the gospel. This little soul and mind will have first experiences of many things: Christmas & Easter, Jesus Loves Me and Three Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. The thought that one day he will discover the David & Goliath story for the first time struck me. And it’s my privilege to have the assignment of teaching him all this.
It was In Christ Alone that did me in.
As He stands in victory sin’s curse has lost its grip on me.
For I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life. No fear in death. This is the power of Christ in me.
From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.
I remembered life’s first cry for Jacob and all the effects of “sin’s curse” I’d felt so keenly in these last four days and the dam burst on all the tears I’d been bravely holding in ever since labor had started to go so terribly wrong. I wept and sang for half an hour as the sun set, alive to God and worshiping like maybe I’ve never been before. This son God has sent me is to teach me the truths of the kingdom more deeply, really, fully, tangibly, unforgettably. Truths like what it means to suffer under, but not be gripped by, sin’s curse. And I have been called to teach him the same truths for the very first time. Truths like little Jesus, “fullness of God in helpless babe.” Jacob and I, we know what a helpless babe is all about now.
If this is what it means to be a mommy, I never want to do anything else.