Something awesome has been impressed on me this advent season that I want to write down, but I'm not sure I can express it well. It started at a women's tea I went to on December 5 at Harvest Bible Chapel. The speaker, Jen Wilken, said something that certainly made me sit up and take notice: "We are all, in one sense, pregnant."
During those turbulent years of trying to get pregnant, I harbored a secret anger and jealousy for Mary. Even the virgin could get pregnant when she wasn't even trying! I was thankful for Jesus and his birth, but I was not fond of that pregnant virgin. Infertility (and the fertility drugs I was taking) made me mad, in both senses of the word.
As I got older (and went off the drugs), the fury against pregnant women in general and the virgin in particular lessened, but a twinge of jealousy remained. So when this woman said I got to be pregnant too, I hungered to hear how that was possible.
This is the part that's hard to explain. Her message was basically that we are born again in Christ and then in some sense, just as it was true of Mary, Christ is born again in us. His image is formed in us. Our bodies are the temple of His Holy Spirit. I'm harboring Life in my body! I knew this, of course, but it just hit me right then. I get to be pregnant too! And it satisfied that longing I've had for 20 years to be pregnant and give birth. I get to birth the image of Christ in the way I live my life, although I'm not doing a good job of it. It's the highest honor and privilege, and it's the wonder of Christmas. Now instead of despising that pregnant virgin, I feel that she is my sister.
So that was December 5. A couple weeks later I was alone in the car (a very rare occurrence) and I heard a song that I've heard before and always liked, but this time I really heard it, in a way that made me pull over on the side of the road and just worship in tears. I never told anyone this because it's so personal between me and God, but I'm writing it down now because I don't want to forget how He has ministered the wonder of Christmas to me this year like never before. The song was Francesca Battistelli's "Be Born in Me", which is a beautiful song. The part that made me pull over was, "Make my heart Your Bethlehem. Be born in me." I had been ruminating on that Dec. 5 talk in the back of my mind, and it all came together for me right there on the side of the road.
Fast forward to yesterday in church. We were having a table discussion about our favorite Christmas miracle. And this year's Christmas revelation came right to my mind. It's a miracle to me that I don't yearn with my whole being to be pregnant with a physical child anymore but am satisfied by God. But how do you explain that to a table full of women who have all given birth, a single man, an old man and a really old man? I didn't explain it well, and I'm sure they didn't understand, as no man or fertile woman truly can.
And finally, last night when I couldn't sleep, the words that came to my mind were the beginning of the first verse of Isaiah 54: "Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy!"