Wednesdays with Jillene: pain and joy

Wednesdays with Jillene is brought to you today by:
Calah Rose

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Born yesterday at 1:05pm

Calah Rose was scheduled to come into the world yesterday by induction (though at the time we didn’t know if it would be a boy or a girl). Being as I had been through labor and delivery before, I had been trying to prepare myself emotionally and mentally for delivery.

There is one thing I remember well: There has come a point in each of my deliveries when I was sure I couldn’t do it any longer… when I was sure the pain would overcome me… (I may have been known to think I was dying) So as birthing day approached, I did my best to be ready for what was to come.

I had a few scriptures on my mind to focus upon but as labor was kicking into high gear I lost the ability to remember recite/meditate on those so I asked Josh to get out a paper I had printed with scriptures of encouragement for labor.

I asked him to choose a good one 😉

He read:
Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
and

John 16:21
Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world

That verse from John 16 was just what I needed to hear in that moment. I needed to be reminded of the purpose, of the coming joy and of the temporary nature of the pain. I’d like to be able to say that I was able to keep that verse on my mind and therefore keep perspective on the coming pain… but I can’t because at some point the whole thing got overwhelming.

And then Calah was born… Josh and I were talking a few hours after she was born how “quickly” it was done. That some moments seemed endless, like the baby would never come and then, almost amazingly, she was here.

I haven’t had much time to sleep since yesterday and in my many hours of “wakefulness” this scripture has been turning in my mind. Jesus used the illustration of a woman in labor to give his disciples a glimpse of what they would experience when he was arrested, condemned to death, crucified and buried… when that “hour” came the disciples would be overwhelmed. And yet, just as dramatically, when Jesus would appear in his resurrected self their joy would be complete.

I’ve been thinking about the many ways that we experience moments like this… times when pain, anguish, grief, despair, loneliness, betrayal… well, they seem like they will overcome us. When those times hit it seems they will never end, seems we are not strong enough to endure, we wish the whole situation would stop RIGHT NOW, or we wonder why…

Often it seems, just like when a woman’s hour has come, her time of labor is at hand and she HAS to go through the pain to get to the joy… so too do we in life have to go through the pain (Et al.) to get to the joy. When in labor a woman knows her baby is the joy at the end. Sometimes we can’t see what joy God is bringing us through the pain and trials of life.

It isn’t easy, this life we’ve been given to walk, but it is worth it! I am thinking of you and praying for you today, that God will strengthen you through the tough times and that you will experience the joy on the other side of the trials!

~Jillene

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