Good news when life gets messy

DSCN6980There’s a little voice whispering in my head, “Let it go, move on. No one wants to hear about Easter any more. That was three whole weeks ago.”
The little voice might be right. It might not. I’m coming back here anyway because I need the whole fifty days of Eastertide, and I suspect I’m not alone. I need to keep remembering that the coming of new life isn’t instant, that if I really want Jesus’ resurrection life to be lived in and through me I have to be prepared for a long process. A life-long process.
I can’t help but wonder how we got deluded into thinking of Easter as a quick and easy single day filled with Easter bunnies and spring flowers and little chicks as the symbols of new life. Pretty pastels, velvet bows—let’s pretend the coming of new life is tidy and pretty and neat. Controllable. Quick.
It isn’t.
In my experience as an obstetrician, the coming of new life is often long and almost always messy and painful.
Jesus died before he was raised again—a slow and excruciating struggle.
All of his followers struggled through stretches of confusion and unbelief and fear before the reality of the resurrected Jesus settled into their souls.
A grandmother prays through the night for her grandson.
A woman weeps for a friend.
In the reshaping of a relationship there are stretches of pain and fear so great one thinks she might break, and then a chance to breathe before the next contraction comes.
When we see that the messy places of life are places of giving birth—or being born—they are so much less frightening than if we think the standard is tidy pink bows and we’re failing to uphold it.
Transformation is always a process, folks.
The messy and painful places are the places in which Jesus’ resurrection life is pressing through whatever is in its way to become more fully enfleshed in us. So let’s get over the myth of quick and easy and learn to breathe with each other and give hugs and massage backs and not panic when we feel like we might break.
There’s a good chance that Jesus’ life is coming into being in us in some new, deeper way. And that is always worth it.

IMG_3553“My dear children, for whom I am in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you . . .” (Gal 4:19)

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Elaine Erb

    Thank you for this Carolyn.
    For some reason when I received this it said it was from Malcolm Guite. I’m assuming because his is the first blog that I signed up to receive regularly. It makes me laugh now how I started to read it, thinking it was from Malcolm Guite, and was so flabbergasted how it was so appropriate for you and how the photo even looked like you. 🙂
    Your message blessed me. Even discernment is rarely a straight line nor a pretty, pastel present with a velvet bow. Yet life is such a gift with all of its complexity and confusion because God is with us and God is for us.
    Thank you Carolyn. You are in my prayers.
    Blessings to you,

    1. Hannah

      Dear Caroli
      the little ones are so precious.At the other end, life seems just as messy.I didn’t expect that.I find that I see only the mess and forget that life itself is messy and only later do we see what it was all about.We do indeed need to remember Easter and its promise of new life. love you,Hannah

  2. Gail Noe

    Thank you so much. The timing is perfect. Things are pretty messy right now, but i get to choose. Thank you Jesus! He is calling for mercy and forgiveness in a very painful old wound. I choose life!

  3. Denise Dunn

    Thank you for your insightful nuggets! Keep writing! It is a form of spiritual midwifery ! The birthing journey of Christ being formed in us takes time and can be painful or difficult, and is often greatly aided by the ministry of a caring and understanding physician who understands the process!

  4. Monica Watson

    Thank you ever so much! I so needed to hear that! You are such a blessing:) My our almighty God bless you and yours Monica

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.