A Pregnant Faith Journey
“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
I have never had the blessing of being pregnant, but I have had the privilege of being with women through their pregnancy and birth of their child. One woman waited years to become pregnant. They were hard years of self-doubt, longing, questioning, self-recrimination and feeling punished. On the day it was confirmed she was having a baby, those years evaporated, and she moved into being pregnant with every cell of her being. She became joy, nurturance, protection, knowing, generosity, and unconditional love itself.
Today, twenty-five years later she explains that time in her life as God’s way of gifting her with faith. Prior to her pregnancy, her image of God was a benevolent Father for whom she had to behave to have good things in life. Her inability to get pregnant was a sign of God’s displeasure and punishment. Life, in many ways, was about transactions and balance sheets. Doing good things, got you good things. Loving others meant others would love you. Not having what you wanted was a sign that her transactions were not good enough.
Her pregnancy changed all of that. In a moment, she knew how to give of herself unconditionally, how to live for another (even though that other was smaller than a pea), and to think of herself in communion with her little one. She understood that what this child did in the womb…kick her, develop hiccups, keep her up at night, put pressure on her organs…was of little consequence to the amount of love she felt and the level of patience she felt for this child and for her body given over to the child.
Life as a transaction was gone, balance sheets ceased to exist. Her faith re-oriented itself to a relationship of love where life is lived in communion and flow of understanding, risking, nurturing, supporting, teaching, and surrendering. When times are difficult or scary then the relationship becomes about trust, patience, and yielding with wisdom. When times are abundant and full, the experience of joy, closeness, and fulfillment come easily. No matter what is happening, God is present, God is fulfilling the promises, and calling us to love with abandon.
Mary and Elizabeth lived such lives. May we also.
How do I understand God in my life?
In what ways does my faith need to grow and mature during this Advent and Christmas season?
Loving God, you are life itself in us, teach us to grow in trust of you as you work in our lives to bring about the Kingdom of God. May we give ourselves over to the creation of life as we are called! Amen.
Dominican Women Afire