After only a few short days, lots of tears, prayer and reading all the comments you precious ladies have taken the time to write, I felt it important to tell you about God’s tender mercies.
I had no idea when I came home that I would be in such need of processing Ellia’s birth; nor have I ever been this emotional (I think) after childbirth. Let me say that even the processing itself has been a precious, unexpected time of growing in the Lord and watching His mystery unfold before me.
I have been able to better focus now on the many aspects of my experience, and to come to a complete peace about all the “surprises” and feelings of inadequacy.
And amazingly, lessons are beginning to unfold, little by little, small love-gifts from the Lord to accompany these roller-coaster days with a newborn.
Someone said that natural childbirth revealed a picture of our weakness as Christians; that we don’t always “get it right” or have our expectations fulfilled, and yet God is there, all the time, working out what is good and right according to His purposes. I agree.
I have hugged my husband more…his tenderness being reciprocated back to me, the woman he stood beside and helplessly watched endure the most intense of suffering. I am more in awe of him than I ever have been…to reflect back on his demonstration of the selfless love of Christ as he served me through labor. Surely this is what love is.
I cherish a tenderness with my mother, I think, that is new, as she didn’t know how hard it could be to watch “her baby” suffer to such a degree.
My daughter embraces me every time she passes me in the house. She says, “I never knew how good it would be to have you back home”.
And when I look at Ellia, I’m reminded of what it means to “present your bodies a living sacrifice”…the sacrifice of pain, both of pregnancy and delivery. The cleansing, if you will–the fresh calmness that comes after a storm.
I know better about the experience now. I can’t say what I would choose again. Not yet. But it simply can’t go without saying that God has flooded me with a refreshed spirit; he has turned my sorrow to gladness, and has already begun to melt my fear into gratitude.
Interestingly enough, I just learned today, that when I originally looked up Ellia’s name meaning, we were going to spell it with one “l”. That spelling meant “Jehovah is my God”. But spelled with 2 “ll’s”, it is a short form of “Elliana” which means, “God has answered”. And isn’t that fitting? I cried out to Him all weekend, and indeed, He has answered.
You all were a part of that answering, and I will be forever grateful for these transforming days in my life.