Before I became a parent, friends and family told me that giving birth to my kids would be one of the happiest moments of my life. For many reasons (that I won’t cover here), neither birth held that significance for me. I was not the starry-eyed new mom who couldn’t sleep because she wanted to watch her child who she’d dreamed about for months. I just wanted the sleep. And, I, at times, really wished that we weren’t in a baby-friendly hospital that had no nursery.
My birth stories always fell flat for me in that sense. I listened to others tell of the euphoria that overcame them when they “met” their child, but for me, I hated the birth process and was just relieved it was over. I felt guilty so many times for not being overjoyed in the birth process and newborn stage that I rarely told people that I really hated both. You’re supposed to be euphoric when you “meet” your baby, right?
But tonight, I totally get it. As a Christian, I believe that we are born in sin. And, if you aren’t a Christian, and don’t believe it, just face your own child the first time you realize they flat out lied to you. You never taught them to lie (I hope); they just figured it out on their own. When I gave birth, I gave birth to two wonderfully beautiful, exhausting, amazing girls who are also sinners, just like I am.
Our oldest, Emmie, is four years old and bright and inquisitive and creative and asks a million questions a day. Tonight, this dear little girl climbed up into my lap in her reindeer long johns and looked up at me and started asking me questions about heaven and asking Jesus into her heart. (She’s been asking my husband and me for the last several days about it all.) She was genuinely concerned she wouldn’t know what to say or who to talk to when she got to heaven. I answered her questions. She asked more questions. My husband came in to usher her to bed, but instead of whisking her away, he also crouched down and began answering questions. We both thought she was done asking because she switched topics, but she was just processing. We told her all the people in her life that she could have prayed with her and help her accept Jesus thinking we were done for the night, but she stopped and looked at us and said, “I want to do it right now!”
My husband and I looked at each other, and he started to lead her in prayer. My eyes began to prick with tears, and I realized that this moment was the best, most important moment in my parenthood. It wasn’t the moment that they were born, it’s the moment that they are born again.
Emmie finished up praying with one of the biggest smiles I’ve seen on her face. We told her she now had the Holy Spirit to help her and guide her and comfort her whenever she needed. She smiled impossibly bigger and nodded.
Not long after Emmie went to bed, I read a new blog started by a friend of mine. She endured years in an abusive relationship and is writing about her experience and how she has dealt with and overcome it. My heart breaks with hers as I read through the posts. No one should ever live with what she did.
As I read through her blog and attempted to reconcile her hurt with the overwhelming joy I have with Emmie’s decision, I found these verses:
“‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
We live in a broken world filled with broken hearts. Our little Emmie tonight accepted the cure for the world’s brokenness. And, she has the hope that I have too: that one day this messy life will be over, and we will live in the most glorious place where there will be no more sadness, no more death, no more hate, and no more abuse. It will be an amazing moment. I hope and pray tonight that Emmie’s light will shine so that as many people as possible can have the most amazing future hope that we have too. Because, honestly, that re-birth is eons better and more important than our first birth.
And, for the record, Emmie is completely excited she gets to see Moses and Noah and Jesus in person someday!