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12.11.2007

Labor of Love



I want to share my new, favorite Christmas song with you. I'm not sure what it is about this song that is resonating with me this year, but I cannot get enough of it. I discovered it on our soundtrack to The Nativity and it makes me cry everytime I hear it. I was looking for the lyrics the other day when I discovered it on You-Tube. The video is a beautiful reminder of what that night might have been like...if you haven't seen the movie yet, you definately should!

I have to admit, I am struggling a little bit with Christmas this year, because of our miscarriage. I have very mixed emotions from day to day. Anyone who knows me, knows that I truly love Christmas and obviously, I love Jesus, but I think I was just hoping it would have been different this year. Have you ever felt that way?
I was hoping to still be pregnant; hoping to be buying gifts for a little one's arrival; hoping to dream with family; hoping to have a little life to look forward to meeting; hoping to be a mommy and Trav a daddy; hoping for something more.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's ever wished that. To some extent, I think we all do at different times in our lives. Sometimes our hope is well placed and sometimes it is in vain. I think I like this song so much, because it makes me wonder, I bet Mary was hoping that night would have gone differently too. Not the fact that she gave birth to Jesus, but perhaps the circumstances in which she gave birth. Can you imagine the loneliness she must have felt with no Mother around or friends to help her?

One thing I've taken for granted all these years is that I always imgined Joseph was with her during the birth...I recently learned in Church that he probably wasn't. It wasn't customary for men to be around during a birth because it would have been unclean. Also, Luke is very specific to say that "Mary gave birth to a son and SHE wrapped him in cloths and SHE layed him in the manger." Wouldn't Joseph have done that or helped her do that if he was right there? I'm sure he was waiting outside, but I never pictured Mary, all by herself, in labor, with no one to hold her hand or comfort her through it. She must have been scared and drained of strength and yet, she did it. But I bet she wished it could have been different. She probably never would have imagined giving birth to her firstborn, in a stable, all alone.

Recently, I've just been dwelling on Mary and her simple obedience to the Lord. Although it wasn't what she planned and certainly not how she planned, she said "yes" to the Lord and he gave her a blessing that no other human would ever receive...she got to be the Mother of Jesus. I'm struck by that for many reasons. For one thing, she didn't do it for the reward, she did it because the Lord asked her to do it and told her not to be afraid. Secondly, she obeyed despite the obvious shame she must have received from everyone who didn't believe her, including her own family. Thirdly, she wasn't given a bed of roses for her obedience. She was given a dark night, in a smelly stable, on a cold ground, all alone. The birth God promised her, with a son that would be like no other, was not a glamorous event in any stretch of the imagination. And yet, she still obeyed. And because she obeyed, I see the riches of her choice in the One who would come to save me and to save her. She never could have known the Lord would ask that of her, or that it would be so lonely, but He did and when He did, she obeyed. Amazing. Challenging. Humbling. Definately a Labor of Love....

Labor of Love (featuring Jill Phillips)

It was not a silent night
There was blood on the ground
You could hear a woman cry
In the alleyways that night
On the streets of David's town

And the stable was not clean
And the cobblestones were cold
And little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
Had no mother's hand to hold

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love

Noble Joseph at her side
Callused hands and weary eyes
There were no midwives to be found
In the streets of David's town
In the middle of the night

So he held her and he prayed
Shafts of moonlight on his face
But the baby in her womb
He was the maker of the moon
He was the Author of the faith
That could make the mountains move

It was a labor of pain
It was a cold sky above
But for the girl on the ground in the dark
With every beat of her beautiful heart
It was a labor of love
For little Mary full of grace
With the tears upon her face
It was a labor of love

3 comments:

Holly said...

Oh my goodness this is way to much and I love this song... I think of your little lamb often and how I know he/she is with my friend Sarah's little lamb and many others this Christmas. I may have to post this video on our blog. I heard it was like 9 degrees there from Mike. wow so cold... I should not complain about our 40 deg. weather! Miss you...

amy said...

Hey Steph! What an amazing post... we are praying for you guys this Christmas... and all that God has in store for you all in the coming year! I was so excited when I saw your Olivia post... she's grown so very much! If you ever actually make the trek to Greenville to see your sister, give us a call! We're literally right on the way from Raleigh, and only 20 minutes from G'ville! We miss you guys!

Peggy & Ron said...

So poinant to read of your feelings this Christmas, Stephanie. Mary must have been so afraid as events began to unfold but I'm sure, like you, felt God's presence when she needed it most. Love you, Peggy