God is a Midwife

Reflections on waiting during Advent

Kris Camealy

I’ve been carrying some extra weight this Advent season—I mean that metaphorically, though physically, it’s true too (hello, Christmas cookies 🙄😬), and I’m curious how Advent is unfolding for you? I wrote the article below a few years ago, but when I stumbled across it in my archives, I knew I needed to read it again. (And since blogging years are like dog years, it’s so old it’s practically new.)

I’ve been pregnant twice at Christmas time, and while that ship has long since sailed (R.I.P. to my uterus who punished me without mercy until June, 2019) the memory of my discomfort in those final days before delivery has never left me. I remember being so restless, so eager, so utterly DONE with the waiting…and I remember how kind God was to me, even in my fitful state of done-ness.

The fact that I don’t wait well is no secret. And while I might not be able to pick you out of a crowd, I’m confident that some of you don’t wait well either (you’re amongst friends, here.) Some of us (ahem) need the reminder that we don’t wait in vain and that, tilted as this planet is, one day, God will right all the wrongs.


So if you’re struggling this Advent season, I dusted this one off for you. And even if you’re not, it’s still for you.

Ps: these photos are of one of my Christmas babies being born via c-section. I will forever love the anesthesiologist who snatched the camera from my husbands hands to capture these photos for me.

We’re  waiting.

Murmuring, shifting, whispering–anxious for this babe to be born.

We feel the swelling grip of the contractions of this world, and we wait some impatient, uncertain hours for Him to crown–to be crowned.

We breath s l o w–concentrated efforts to carry ourselves from one pulsing moment to the next. We fix our eyes on just one point–the invisible promise of His imminent coming, and with that, the promise of our own becoming.

God is a midwife to His laboring world.

He holds us, reminding us to breathe, He props us up and leans in. He steadies us, keeps us from sinking, from dissolving in the pain. We bare down, push too hard and He whispers quiet, but firm,

“s l o w–breathe--wait.”

We sweat and bleed. We struggle and pant. The whole earth groans with us.

We live weary.

He knows how life comes. He’s spun it around and around in His hands, shaping majestic mountains, filling oceans that teem with life unseen. He calls the flowers up from the soil, the cedars and the oaks raise their arms to Him.

He has never missed one quaking moment, ever-present, and all-seeing. Every moment leading up to this, and what will come after, what has already been–none of this comes unexpected to Him.

He knows the burn of labor, the crushing pain of the gift that both splits and fills us.

We await His coming.

We wait and in the long stillness of night, in the filth of a stable, ripe with droppings, the King drops in. He fills the whole stinking space with His glory–

Heaven sings over this babe.

Birth2

The world rocks and groans with the afterpains.

Christ, a miracle landing smack in the middle of a mess.

We re-labor over this impossible birth, year after year, each shadowed Advent and the seasons still coming.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

(The Lorica, St. Patrick


With much love, many prayers, and an extra shot of espresso,

Kris

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