Friday, January 4, 2013

One word

His name was George and his reputation preceded him.

Judging by his neatly trimmed grey beard and jolly lumberjack physique, one could guess that he was in his sixties. He was more like the grandpa that you always wished you'd had, than the labor and delivery nurse you were expecting to meet as you waddled into the hospital, round and vulnerable.

A relief nurse would whisper to me later,  that George regularly received more flowers and candy and cards from patients than any other nurse in the ward. She feigned mock jealousy, but I got the impression that she thought he had earned each and every one.

This was my third baby; my first boy. The fact that I was going to be the only female in the birthing room was not lost on me--I have always been somewhat easily amused. My previous births had been quick and natural and as smooth as any mom could hope for, which explains why I might have been the tiniest bit overconfident heading into things the third time around.

Moms with more normal labors might call this payback.

I was being induced, and all was going well, but when it came time to push, my son lost his sense of direction and decided to signal a wrong turn and launch an attempt to break into the world via my belly button. All the pressure from the contractions centered there, and it made it so the last thing I wanted do was PUSH! when prompted.

Nothing felt right, and it actually became so taxing on me that I was growing incoherent. During the lulls, sweet George would give me instructions and I would nod and try to track his words, but once the waves returned, everything was lost and he'd patiently repeat the process again and again. By the time my son was safely in my arms, I recognized just how George had grown his fan club.

This week, as the new year begins, I have been thinking a bit about how life is like labor. How God can redeem our pain and birth something good and new from it;  how even in the middle of it, he provides us moments of rest.

Instead of a long list of resolutions this year, I'm joining a community of bloggers and others that are asking God to give them  just one word for 2013, that he would like to grow in them.

My word this year is rest. It is obvious that God picks times of rest to speak to, and restore us, and it is pretty apparent, too, that sometimes I can become a little overconfident in my own abilities.

'Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.' Psalm 116:7

This is my prayer for 2013.

What are your hopes for the new year? Have you picked just one word?

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