This Mother's Day, I couldn't help but think about what it took to get my sons here. The true 10 months of anticipation and hope that I would get to meet them. Hold their sweet, tiny little selves in my arms.
But it wasn't all easy or all so simple. There was plenty of heartburn, nausea, and other people's insensitive comments to go around.
And then the labor. After my oldest was five days past my estimated due date, well, I was done and the romance of it all had faded. I wanted to meet him. I wanted him out.
He was sunny-side up and back labor was terrible. I wanted the pain to end. With an unplanned Epidural, it did. The pain was gone, but it wasn't over. I still had to get the little guy out. What a gift to have him lay on my tummy.
The pain was productive. There was a gift, a blessing for the hard work: A cute, baby boy.
And then this morning, I finished my latest Bible Study on patience. It is about waiting both eagerly and patiently. I will admit with the pregnancies that I was eager, but not as patient.
What struck me the most was how I was able to endure all of the highs and lows of pregnancy because of the hope in meeting my child when it was all done.
But pain doesn't always feel productive. Hope is barely there sometimes. But without it, doesn't that cancel life? How can you push through anything without it?
I have found myself stuck in believing that no good thing can come from the pain. That the Kidney stone I passed or the surgery to get it out in 2005 couldn't offer any good to me or anyone. Yet, I hoped for it to all be over. Knowing that it was temporary...helped.
I mean pain just because well, it just sucks. Pain with purpose is far more bearable.
***I find myself still concerned, still confused at how the death of my mother could bring about good.
Then, today it hit me.
When my hope is placed in the only one who brings hope, then I can believe that all pain is productive.
I can believe that no trial, circumstance or hard time is forever. I can believe that God will use it to help someone, to serve someone, to offer hope to someone else. The pain will change me and I will know that He is working.
I want to remember that there is also the very essence of faith for all of those who follow Jesus, the greatest hope is in knowing that one day we will experience this:
We will be released, freed from sin and suffering.
Thank you Father God for the hope we have in your Son, Jesus.
How have you seen God work through or in your pain?