Saved in childbearing?
That statement sparks a number of different questions. I've heard many feminist driven arguments against this verse, and I've heard broad theological explanations about it related to the Messiah coming through a woman giving birth; but it wasn't until I actually experienced childbirth and motherhood that I understood the personal implications involved.
Sometimes the word, saved, is translated as preserved. In the Greek, it has the added meaning of delievered or healed.
Healed in childbearing.
Now there's a concept worth meditating on, and more rightly so, a promise from scripture to believe.
I can honestly say it was healing for me, and in ways I have yet to understand. Whether it was seeing the strength and compassion of my husband standing over me in servant-leadership through the pregnancy, the empowered feeling that I could do anything after natural childbirth, the way Aviel's red hair has ministered to my heart, trusting that God hears my voice through learning to be responsive to Aviel's cry, or many other revelations the Lord has provided, I am not the same as I was a year and a half ago.
Though I could write volumes on each of the examples above, it is not my own experience that I want to highlight today, but that of a friend in North Carolina. After a traumatic first birth, Ashley had a incredible VBAC with a particularly sweet story of redemption. In her own words:
...And as her head started to crown, I remember Todd saying, "I thought this would be weird. but it's not. This is awesome! Keep going baby!" He was so excited to see his baby girl enter the world. And all I could think was, sweet Jesus get her out! The pain. Lord Jesus, the pain. But a few pushes later when that sweet Liliana Joy slipped from my womb and up into my arms...the pain melted away. literally. I didn't care. I was staring into the face of someone I had loved for months - or maybe even always.
She cried and I cried.
And it was labor day, September 6, 2010. it was my 31st birthday. and it was Liliana Joy's birthday. Of all of the days that the Lord could pick to bring forth my second daughter, he chose my birthday.
It was redemption. because for years, September seemed to go all wrong. My parents separated, my dad was a no show or no call on my birthday, a long time boyfriend broke up with me, I found out my Grandad had terminal cancer, my parents divorced, my childhood home sold... For a long time, I found myself cringing when September rolled around. I was just sure that something else was looming in the dark, waiting to crush the hope that was September. And when I got married, Todd started rewriting September. He would do everything he could to make my birthday special.
But it was the Lord himself that redeemed it. It is He that only can redeem anything. And when He took my birthday and made it my daughter's, He gave me a new focus. September is so sweet now. I'll never see the sadness in it. Never. All of the pain of all of those years were worth the sadness - it was in the sadness that hope grew.
And now I look at this blue eyed girl and my heart rejoices. For so long we waited for the Lord to restore something that seemed impossible. But he showed us that it was possible. Somewhere in the quiet of the early morning hours of September 6th, God reached into my heart and reminded me that I was created for this - for this moment. And from my womb, He made new precious life - again.
Healed in childbearing.
May the word of Ashley's testimony inspire others to hope for so much more.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10 NASB
Go here for Ashley's full birth story.
Something Special Part 3 Aviel's Birth Story
At the Sound of His Voice
Thoughts on When to Start Your Family