I’ll never forget the first time I witnessed a birth.
Years ago, a friend of mine decided to ditch convention and hire a midwife to oversee the home birth of her first child. It was an audacious move, one which both inspired me and scared me stiff. She had asked me to witness her blessed event, so when those contractions started shouting baby’s coming now, I had planted myself next to the midwife and watched, awestruck, as my courageous friend brought forth her child, his lusty cry filling her small apartment home.
And I had wept.
I hadn’t wept at the birth of my own firstborn. But then, I had been too relieved at the time to care about much of anything except the fact that it’s finally over and look — he has all ten fingers and toes, glory be!
But standing in that darkened room, watching life emerge from a watery cocoon, I couldn’t stop the landslide of tears. The power of God was so present, and I was overcome.
Flash-forward twenty five years.
In October of 2016 I had felt those first flutterings, those Holy Spirit whisperings of it’s time to write and take Psalm 103 as your theme. I had argued and ignored, but when I finally relinquished stubbornness and fear to embrace a yes, I had little idea of the journey ahead.
Just as I had watched my belly swell with that first precious life inside me, so this time, too, I experienced the crazy tug as God stretched me like a band of silly putty. And with each new boundary which I had to cross — studying theology, writing content, designing layouts, recording teachings — I would ache and wail with the effort: I’m-in-the middle-of-transition-and-won’t-somebody-plllleeeease-help-me!
Just over a year later, I’m holding a book in my hand.
And now I’m an author?
Last fall the women at my home church completed their journey through Bless, and as I filled my plate with steaming casserole goodness at our celebration feast, it felt surreal. Women were sharing how God was getting the glory — how He was shaking up paradigms and breaking off bondage — and I just sat there listening, awestruck.
But in that moment, I couldn’t weep. Because this birth had brought such joy that instead I wanted to throw my arms wide and spin with delight. My trembling OK, Jesus had opened the door to His far greater YES, and I was overcome with His faithfulness.
Because when Jesus wants to show up and show off — and He asks you, and you eke out a yes — it’s time to buckle your seatbelt, ‘cause He’s about to work wonders.
For the sake of His fame on the earth.
What does it feel like to see my name on the cover of that book containing my wrestlings and musings, still damp with my tears? What does it feel like to hit play on my iPad and hear my own voice sharing truth — victories hard-won on the battlefield of my soul?
Well, it feels quite a bit like it’s finally finished and look — it actually came together, glory be!
Today I’m taking the next step into an untried season of how to steward this new thing, how to lay down all of me so that it can thrive — like bringing that first bundle of mine home from the hospital, only to find that motherhood really looks like (SPOILER ALERT) innumerable diaper changes and countless 2 AM feedings.
But all the while, I’m absolutely giddy with the gratitude of what He’s accomplished. He’s such a good Daddy, and I’m undone by His hesed — His rich steadfast love — so much so that the words in which I’ve soaked for the past year can’t help but explode from my heart:
“Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name!”
And the tears of joy rain down.
For more information about Bless Women’s Bible Study and introducing Bless to your church, click here.