Friday, January 18, 2013

Love was born

{a story of Khesed's birth}

Falling in love with my husband was not part of the birth plan.

For months, I have been praying that I would love Hans more, and more truly. Six and a half years of marriage taught me just how bound I am to self-love. Praying for divine intervention seemed like a sensible thing to do. I knew God answers prayers. God might even answer this one. Slowly and subtly, perhaps? I expected nothing fancy. But I was wrong.

Hans was the keynote speaker for a conference two weeks before the baby's due date. We had agreed to serve at this event months before we found out we were pregnant. We were really excited though we knew there was a risk that I might go into early labor while he was gone.

Hans was worried, understandably. But I insisted that he must go. I somehow managed to convince myself that I would be fine without him. After all, I've given birth twice. We made arrangements for family and friends to be here in case I do go into labor while he was away. The conference came and gone. And I did not go into labor. For this and so much more, I give thanks.

In the history of Biblical interpretation, many referred to the pain of childbearing as "the woman's curse." However, God himself never said this, not really. God cursed the serpent, and God cursed the ground. But never did he curse Adam and Eve, whom he made in his own image.

Instead, God gave his children pain. It would serve us well to remember that God gives only good gifts to his children. As a consequence of their rebellion, they shall have pain in their fruit bearing and child bearing years.

I had not shed a tear during my first two labors. They were undoubtedly painful, but I did not cry. By the third hour of this third labor, however, my face was wet with weeping. I heard groans unfamiliar to my own ears. Apparently, not all labor pains were created equal.

Pain can be such a cold, lonely thing. I saw myself as I truly was, weak and insufficient. Pain stripped away any delusion that I could manage life alone. I needed my husband. And my God, in his grace, gave him to me, for this hour, until death do us part.

In my delirium, I heard his voice reading Psalms 136, 137, 138, 139. By the waters of Babylon, there I wept, and he pointed me to Zion. I was so very glad I was not alone. As the labor escalated, he pulled me out of despair. His voice instructed me to recite Psalm 8, again and again and again, the way I would instruct the boys at the breakfast table every morning.

I saw my husband, as though for the first time. I saw how he pours himself out for his family and his church. I saw how he serves, how he loves. And there, in the labor and delivery room, God answered my prayer, though his way was neither slow nor subtle. I fell in love, again.

Therefore, I shall give thanks for the pain of childbearing,
for the pain that unveiled my eyes.
In the mess of blood and water,
love met me.

Khesed, Hebrew for Yahweh's covenantal, forever love. 


Jean Tsen said...

Wow si...i'm seeing how this brings to full circle your pregnancy experience, how you told us that God's chesed-love had been a constant theme. Praise God for completing it this way. Heart is full. Thank you jieji..shin privileged to be direct witness as well as recipient of the love in your home. Ahhhh.. :D

Irene Sun said...

thank you for serving us in this way! i've been telling everyone that we wouldn't be able to manage if you were not here!!! and thank you for commenting on the blog... even though you are sitting in the next room. =.="

Catherine said...

hehe you guys are so funny :D commenting while (almost) right beside each other. who does that??? *hides*

<3 but yes. that was so lovely! aww fall in love again yayy!!! and i am still so glad that it was not i that was beside you during your delivery. i'll probably cry with you though.. :P thank the Lord! for this and for many others!

Tim Teo said...

Thanks big sis for such an inspiration. Reading this has brought me joy this day and a constant reminder of God's goodness even in the midst of painful circumstances. Blessings to your beautiful family ;)

Hans said...

Every time we have a child, I am reminded of how much I admire my wife. Each birth is a gift that God uses to renew and inspire my affections for her.

Swansea said...

time for a new banner for your blog ^▼^~

Irene Sun said...

Yeeling - Ya, I've thought about that. I'm quite sure you would be crying with me if you were there (because you are very sweet and empathetic). ;-) The Lord is very gracious indeed. =) phew.

Tim - Congratulations on your recent wedding! Marriage is an amazing means of grace. It's been too long since we've been in touch. Thank you for dropping by. =)

Swansea - I shall start thinking about the possibilities. =) It would be a little hard to make three little faces to look good at the same time though.

Lily said...

This is a very moving post. Thanks Irene. : )
I'm learning to love the Psalms this year, not at all by my own desire or plan, and it's working out well.

Sherryberry said...

Psalm 8 is indeed a good one. How you find time to blog such wonderful posts, i don't know, but thanks for posting them!

Irene Sun said...

Lily - We love the Psalms in our house. =) One of the most valuable lessons I received from my professors in seminary is this, the book of Psalms is arranged in a way that tells a story. The order of the psalms is intentional and very important to understanding the book. Psalms 136-139, for example, is telling a story about God's steadfast love. Thanks for reading, Lily, as always. =)

Sherry - I often tear up whenever Hanan gets to the part about "out of the mouth of babies you have established strength..."
As for how I find time,... writing is restful for me. Each post is written over the course of many days. Thank you for reading. I am so grateful that I can record these thoughts with you in mind. =)

julie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jetchick said...

I'm not sure how I missed this blog the first time around but it was wonderful to read this morning! And I delighted in the comments among you and your sisters, Irene! God's blessings to you and your beloved family! (Aunt) Ann