As this Christmas approaches (in a matter of days), I find myself less connected to my Savior than in Christmases past. I don’t doubt that I will have a strong connection to Him again, and in fact still feel Him near to me even though I am in a different place in my mind.
My seeking of Him could be better. My listening for Him is always open. The feeling in my heart of His love is deep and resounding. I feel His mercy and grace more than ever. I am much more focused on the Divine Feminine recently, so, looking at the nativity with a feminine viewpoint is where my mind went this year. And if that is my current lens, who better to look at to find more connection to Christ than His Mother: Free Birthing Mary.
I had a realization in church last week about Mary. This (teenage) young woman who was bearing the Son of God. She knew who He was. She knew He was the promised Messiah. She had Her (and our) Prince of Peace inside of her….beaming peace and love to her throughout Her pregnancy. She had a supportive husband who was willing to believe (ok…after an angelic vision…but still, there are other stories of people seeing angels who did not continue to believe). Everyone focuses on the stable. Why couldn't Christ be born in an inn? Why were they alone? Here are some thoughts that flowed to me recently:
-They may have needed to be alone because they needed the experience of a free birth. They needed to be with only each other to rely on only each other and God. The bond that grows during this experience is stronger than strong. Formidable. Indestructible? Well fortified? It feels like all of the above. This experience was preparatory for what lie ahead. Raising a literal half-god while still being mortal. She needed to understand and know Her true power. She needed to know that if She was capable of bearing the Son of God, She (and Joseph) could raise him too.
-The stable was representative of God’s humility, and that of His earthly parents as well.
-Not having midwives (which was most common at the time) kept the two of them reliant on each other and God. Their focus was not distracted and Mary was allowed to birth in Her power, and in Her own time and way.
-Being turned away from inns, I believe, was a sign that they were going to do this on their own and that it isn’t sad that there wasn’t room for them. There wasn’t room for God because God needed peace and quiet. God needed nature. God needed serenity, stars, and earth surrounding Him. He needed total connection to His mother who also needed total connection to Her son in the moments following His birth. They needed that perfect bond to start His perfect life.
Maybe the inns were not open, and maybe She went into labor at the exact time She did so that She would have the beautiful experience of a free birth. Maybe She and Joseph were the only ones truly faithful enough to be allowed the awe that accompanied the birth of the Savior. Only themselves and some animals were allowed to be in the presence of God for at least a few moments before shepherds arrived. If God’s timing is perfect, then He timed His birth for the exact moment and place it happened.
I believe they may have needed the peace and strength that free birth brings to be able to take on the task of watching their Son bleed and be crucified for them. Maybe free birth was the perfect birth for Him. And if free birth was perfect enough for God, maybe it is just right for some of us too. Mary trusted God, trusted in Her body, Her power, and in Her son’s perfect timing.
What happened during the birth of your child(ren) that helped to prepare you for parenting? What did you learn? Did you lean in closer to your spouse? What happened during the adoption processes of your children that made you more resilient? What fortified you? Reliance on God? Trust in your Christ? We can look at Christ’s birth experience and draw parallels to our own children’s births (and children’s adoptions). There are similarities for us all: Brand new parents. Uncharted territory. Fear. Peace. Love. Gratitude. Awe. Togetherness. Nature. Blood. Sacrifice (in so many different ways-and my mind went straight to the wonderful birth mothers out there of my best friends’ two wonderful children). Tears. Sweat. Anguish. Joy. Appreciation. Humility.
We have so much in common with Mary and with each other. And hopefully some of you will notice that all of those things I described above apply to birth mothers, mothers, adoptive mothers, mothers of miscarried babies, mothers yet to be, women who choose not to bear children, and men. We share these emotions. We all share these commonalities that were probably present at the birth of Jesus Christ. We can all rely on His grace and mercy, just has He had to rely on His Mother’s grace and mercy (and just as we all relied on our own mother’s grace and mercy for bearing us).
Merry Christmas, especially to all the wonderful women giving birth to their own babies this time of year. You are Goddesses in training and are doing a great job being you.