Wednesday, April 15, 2015

For the Mamas

During worship, I heard Jesus say how important it was that we as mothers recognize our identity as co-creators with Him, and how vital it is that we operate in that gifting, calling and identity. In the beginning, God created. He existed. And the first thing we learn about his activity is that He created. He created the whole universe, and on the sixth day, "God created human beings; he created them godlike, reflecting God’s nature. He created them male and female. God blessed them; 'Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!'” (Genesis 1:27 MSG) God created Eve as a helper, a companion, someone to remedy Adam’s aloneness. Adam named her Eve because she was the mother of all life. God had a purpose in creating you female; that part of you is very intentional and strategic.

He reminded me of many of the references to all things female throughout the Scriptures:
The Hebrew women who were so vigorous that they delivered their babies before the midwives who’d been instructed to kill boy babies could get to them in Exodus 1. The Beloved in Song of Solomon. That Wisdom was personified as a woman in Proverbs. That the Church is Jesus’ glorious bride. The  creation pregnant with waiting. There are so many parallels between being female and kingdom life.

Be encouraged that as a woman, a mother, a wife, a daughter, you have been uniquely designed to create. To carry new life, new ideas, and deliver with vigor and strength, that which God has called you to deliver, to nurture, to bring to full term, into the world, to adulthood. Literally and spiritually. I don’t know why or how writing a poem or painting a picture or completing a triathlon or managing a meal plan or creating a spreadsheet or speaking the truth in love can change the world, but I believe He told me it can and will. I’m not sure if it’s what happens in us while we are in the process of creating or the thing we create coming into existence or both or something else, but I know power is released when we actively participate with Him in creating. The Holy Spirit is brooding over the deep parts of us, as He was in the beginning when God spoke and light appeared. You were created godlike, reflecting His nature and when you speak (paint, draw, dance, sing, doodle, hope, skip, twirl, see, envision, play, sculpt, manage, color, arrange, alphabetize, organize, cook, bake, intercede, lead, stand, chart, gaze, hope, sew, lift, carry, move) light appears.

God made you female with the intention of revealing himself through you. You, as a mother, as a wife, as a daughter, reflect His glory uniquely.  Knowing what pregnancy looks like or intellectually knowing what it involves is completely different than experiencing it. So, I think, to birth something in the spirit takes on new levels of meaning when you’ve experienced something similar in your physical body. That’s not to say that men or adoptive moms or anyone who hasn’t given birth in the natural can’t birth something in the spirit, because they absolutely can and do! But when you’ve been a radiant bride, bridal passages of Scripture are experiential as well as revelational. When you’ve breastfed a baby, you’ve felt the resounding “No!” to Isaiah’s question “Can a woman forget her nursing child?”

I think God has called so many women to the ministry of intercession because of their capacity to live in the waiting, to trust the process of gestation and the unknown, the hidden. In pregnancy, you see and feel things happening, changes taking place in your very body and being, and yet, you don’t know who is in there, when they will come out, if they are growing normally. The same is true with breastfeeding: you can’t measure the milk that baby is getting, but the more demand they place on your body for milk, the more milk is produced. My mom always says, “Faith is like breastfeeding!"

The process is key! He’s all about the process. Women’s bodies are bent toward process, cycles. It’s not like you give birth and say, “Well, that’s done” and go back to life as normal. Now you have a newborn whose very life depends on you sustaining it. You have to figure that small person out and keep it thriving. And then you have a toddler to keep alive (and not strangle). And so on until you have to begin the process of letting them go - even harder!

God wants to be with us in the process, in the creating. He hasn’t called us to be or do anything we can do by ourselves. Being created female doesn’t qualify you to proceed in life with creativity and strength in isolation from Him. He wants you and Him to be inextricably linked in the drafting table that is your daily life. What does it look like to discipline this child? How can I stay on top of all this laundry? What can I do about this repeated financial lack? Who do You want to be for me when I can’t seem to connect with my husband? Who am I becoming as You give me revelation about your kindness toward me in this sticky situation with my family? How is my faith growing as I seek You in the kitchen? The nursery? The bedroom? The laundry room? He is every bit as interested in transforming us into His image in the mundane, menial and hidden moments as He is in the public, "ministry” moments.

So, I encourage you to ask Him to show you how He sees you and then step out in acting like that person. If He says you are a song bird, SING! Often, loudly, intimately. Sing new songs, old songs, silly songs with your kids. If He says you are a creative problem solver, start trying ideas instead of feeling stumped and overwhelmed. If He says you have a gift of healing, lay your hands on scraped knees and tummy aches and ask if you can pray for people at the grocery store. If He says you’re beautiful, when you’re tempted to see wrinkles and bags and rolls and think “ugh,” decide to speak the truth that He sees: you are beautiful in the midst of all those things. And maybe you’ll begin to believe it when you first wake up as well as when you’re all dressed up and made up. If He says you’re a writer, start writing something. If He says you’re a painter, start painting. If He says you’re a runner, start walking if you need to!

And if you’re like me, it may seem silly. It may seem like nothing is ever going to come of any of it. But, I felt Him asking if we would trust Him in the process, in the hiddenness, in the waiting, in the dark soil of His love. If He can feed thousands with a little boy’s lunchbox, surely He can birth beauty from our offerings.

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