The Grove: Birth

What beautiful reminders we’ve had this week of the anticipation and birth of the One who reconciles and makes Himself known to us. How telling that He didn’t just appear, but was carried in the womb of an ordinary woman chosen to birth Him.

Every single one of us birth something. For some, it’s little human beings. For others, it’s expressions of beauty and truth communicated through words, art, or relationships.   Some create environments for others to experience rest, hope, restoration, community. We are ordinary women chosen to birth God-designed creations.

All our creations begin in a moment of intimacy. A cell uniting with another cell, producing a third cell uniquely reflecting the parent cells. A thought uniting with an experience…a strength uniting with a gap…a prayer uniting with a need… all producing a dream uniquely reflecting the both Author and the bearer of the dream.

Let’s compare the process of birthing a child with the process of birthing a dream God has implanted in you. In the early days of pregnancy, you look for any tangible evidence this is bigger than just your imagination. You find yourself experiencing new hopes. And new fears.

You hesitate to tell others of your dream. What if this doesn’t come to term?

But when you pause, you realize the hesitation is deeper than the “what ifs”. Here is this wonder-filled secret only you and your Beloved share. You long to protect not only the fragility of the dream, but also this intimate shared knowing. It’s not yet time to tell the masses.

Everything has changed. And yet from all outward appearances, nothing has changed. But YOU know. There has been a shift, a planting, a tiny seed dropped into an environment ready to receive and nourish that dream into reality in the fullness of time. Moments of awe and fear and wonder and anticipation swirl in your heart and thinking.

In this God-designed process, there is a knitting together in hidden places. Elements are being created – developing, expanding, growing. What seems like passive waiting is so much more. Active creative work is going on in your waking and sleeping. When you are both aware and unaware, the Knitter’s needles are steadily shaping and forming what is to be.

And honestly, you have no control over the process. Your part is to pray, prepare, anticipate, and make the shift to become caregiver, steward, protector and nurturer of the dream. But still much is unknown.

Others begin to notice something about you is… different. The dream is now expanding, pushing outward, harder to conceal. You tentatively tell those you love. And the secret is out. Preparation begins in earnest. Midwives come near to help you navigate the birth of this dream.

You feel a kicking against the constraints of present reality. Heavy with the weight of what is to come. Restless, finding it hard to be in the space you had been so comfortable in. Old roles no longer fit. Thoughts and pursuits formerly occupying your time trail off into emptiness. Newness IS coming.

And then. After all that waiting. Suddenly, violently, uncontrollably the birthing begins. Effort. Pain. Exhaustion. Intensity. Joy. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

You are in the delivery room far longer than you’d like – surrounded by helpers, guides, and comforters. But in the end, it’s you alone that has to do the pushing.

The fullness of time has come. What you have longed and hoped and prepared for has come into being. That little dream has poked its head into the big wide world and taken its first step.

The unknowns have become known, and simultaneously, increased in their number and scope. You lean into the Author of the dream, trusting, depending, listening, responding, learning how to nurture this little one into all it was designed to be.

You experience new focus. New rhythms. A new realm of responsibility and sacrifice. And this profound gratitude that YOU get to do THIS.

What have you been chosen to birth? Where are you in the birthing process? What resonates with you as you consider what God could be creating within you?

*****

This is what we call The Grove.  It’s where we all gather to share our thoughts, our words, and our art on our weekly prompt.  So join us in the comments.  Show us your art work by adding an image. And link up your own blog posts on this week’s prompt.  Click here for details and instructions.


Photo Credit : Gratisography

21 Comments

  1. Amy S December 18, 2014

    Patty,  I love the layers of meaning here. So much to think about. I especially connect with the part about the knitting together that happens in secret, and how it feels passive, but it isn’t.  And then to let the dream grow in its own time, out of our control, but still needing our preparation and prayers.  Thank you for writing this!

    I want to share a poem I wrote on this theme.

    Annunciation

    If we would dare to look up

    when holy messengers

    bring startling news,

    If we would drop what we’re doing

    for one minute

    and let the fear of God

    impress us,

    If we, in reverence and awe,

    at the mystery of Love appearing,

    would say, “Yes, Lord.”

    If we agreed with all

    His deepest desires for us,

    believing His impossible truth,

    Then maybe His great Spirit

    would overshadow us too.

    And our bodies would become

    bearers of Hope.

    And what would be born of our obedience,

    though it cost us everything,

    would be Life.

    Life for us.

    Life for the world.

     

     

     

     

    1. Patty Stallings December 18, 2014

      Beautiful expression, Amy. Your rich words stir up inspiration and hope in me. Thanks so much for sharing your poetry with us!

    2. Kristi December 21, 2014

      I love your poem.  I do so want His Spirit to overshadow me and bear Hope!

  2. Elizabeth December 18, 2014

    This is exactly what I’ve been thinking lately, about birth and the creative process. I’d even been playing around with the ideas in a potential blog post. For me, writing is JUST like birth was, complete with all the doubts involved in the later stages, after such initial hopes.

    And I love how you describe the background work, the knitting together in secret places. I SO relate to this. All the stuff God has worked on in my inner life these last few years, they affect how I approach writing and ministry in general. Sometimes it’s hard to explain what, exactly, the changes are, but you feel different, and I think people can feel the difference too. Sometimes words aren’t enough to explain these things. It happens slowly, on a different plane, a wordless plane perhaps. And you don’t always know what’s happening inside, till later. Such a mystery, both the knitting together of a baby in the womb, and the knitting together of our spirits in the secret place.

    1. Patty Stallings December 18, 2014

      Elizabeth, you articulate that “knitting together” so well.  I agree that often words are too shallow, flimsy, inadequate to explain those inner workings.  Mystery is exactly what it is.  Glorious, unspeakable, wonder-filled mystery.

        1. Patty Stallings December 19, 2014

          Hey Elizabeth, I just popped over and read your post.  I resonate with your “writer’s amnesia” analogy!

  3. Beth Everett December 19, 2014

    Patty, this was so beautifully expressed.
    I recently was encouraged to read the book “The Dream Giver” by Bruce Wilkinson. I have been mulling over this whole idea of ‘birthing a dream’ for the last two months or so.
    Today, I  am here: “In the early days of pregnancy, you look for any tangible evidence this is bigger than just your imagination. You find yourself experiencing new hopes. And new fears.”
    And I am encouraged by this: “… you have no control over the process. Your part is to pray, prepare, anticipate …”.
    I am resting in this truth for the moment.

    1. Patty Stallings December 19, 2014

      Hey Beth – I haven’t read “The Dream Giver” but I’m going to check it out.
      My prayer for you is for rest and trust as the knitting together process continues and this dream grows in size, definition, and clarity.  And on the day of delivery, let us know and we’ll celebrate with you!

  4. Clarissa December 19, 2014

    Patty this was beautifully written–a swirl of words pushing towards a conclusion that rests in self-reflection, thank you!

    This caught me at the end: “You experience new focus. New rhythms. A new realm of responsibility and sacrifice. And this profound gratitude that YOU get to do THIS.”

    As I experience so much new in this season I am grateful for how your words frame my feelings and give expression to my wordless places.

    1. Patty Stallings December 19, 2014

      Thank you, Clarissa.  May all the mystery and awe continue as you journey down this path!

  5. MaDonna December 19, 2014

    This post resonated with me as well. The analogy of the pain childbirth gives and the pain we can go through as we work on starting a new project, ministry, dream is just that. It is pain that lasts only for a season – then when the time is right and everything is “knitted together” there is great joy and excitement.

    I think I’m at the pain part of this “birthing” process, but the exciting part is that I believe I see the ending coming and to be able to see the full outcome of all the labor gives me the energy and strength to press on and finish well.

    1. Patty Stallings December 19, 2014

      MaDonna, right now I’m praying for you, asking for the right people to surround you in the delivery room to help welcome this dream into the world!  Blessings to you!

  6. Jennifer December 19, 2014

    When we stand in the midst of the process it can at times be difficult not to forget that which may lie at the of the process. It can be so easy to be caught up in the midst of the pain and in the midst of all which must come before birth. The challenge can be that once we have begun that process we cannot stop it. Once the dream has been conceived within us, one way or another it will be born, alive or dead it will be born. The tragedy is that not every dream will be born and live and develop often for reasons outside of our control and for reasons we may never understand, and yet we need to remember that God is no less with us, with the death of a dream, as with the death of anything else. We need to go through the same grieving process, as with any other loss, and to be sensitive to ourselves and to others in the midst of such times. Unlike a child which only takes a certain time to develop within its mother before it is born, dreams can have very different gestation periods, some long, some short. We need to care for ourselves and for others who carry a dream within them so that in due time it can be born. It is a new challenge to consider just how we should care best for those who carry a dream within them.

    1. Patty Stallings December 19, 2014

      So true, Jennifer.  Thanks for expanding thoughts on birthing dreams and sharing your wisdom here!

  7. Erin Paxton December 19, 2014

    All our creations begin in a moment of intimacy.

    I love this. Thanks for reminding me of this sweet truth. A friend of mine said once that, “You can’t give what you don’t have.” And, sharing your creation with the world is an announcement to the world of who or what you are intimate with.

    1. Patty Stallings December 19, 2014

      “sharing your creation with the world is an announcement to the world of who or what you are intimate with.”
      Love this thought, Erin.  Amen and amen!

    2. Elizabeth December 20, 2014

      “Sharing your creation with the world is an announcement to the world of who or what you are intimate with.”

      I LOVE that too!

  8. Kristi December 21, 2014

    Patty, I love this post.  May I say it seems we are constantly being birthed and birthing something.  We are born and born again but not until Heaven will we be truly formed and truly home.  Here’s what I wrote.

     
    Birth
     
    Born
     
    through pain
     
          and pushing
     
    through blood
     
          and sweat
     
    Placed into the arms
     
    of a mother
     
          filled with pleasure
     
    Reborn
     
    through pain
     
          and groaning
     
    through blood
     
          and tears
     
    Placed into the arms
     
    of The Father
     
          filled with delight
     
    Birthing
     
    through trials
     
          and loss
     
    through labor’s of love
     
          and learning
     
    Placed into the arms
     
    of The Beloved
     
          filled with passion
     

    1. Patty Stallings December 21, 2014

      Kristi, your poetry is always so spot on and well, just amazing!  Thank you for sharing with us!

    2. Amy S December 22, 2014

      Kristi, I love the progression of your poem and how it ends with “passion.” So much emotion conveyed in your words. Thank you.

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.