When I gave birth to my second child, I felt more connected to my body and its strength than ever before. There was a fire raging inside of me. That’s how my body felt; like someone set my organs on fire and I couldn’t stop the flames. It was an eternal burn but a burn that connected me to the Earth and to women throughout the centuries.
There is a collectiveness of strength that lies in women, because we endure life growing inside of us and the transcendence of that life. We endure the grief of life dying inside us, emerging incomplete. We grieve when our bodies are not operating the way we were told they are supposed to. We wait. Where is the child? Where is the babe I have prayed for, seen, and already loved who is not yet conceived?
There is power in the stories we carry of birth, grief, and the not yet. It connects us in the way we bleed the source of life and yet do not die. We hold a certain power that reveals itself when we live together in community and our cycles change to flow in unison. We women are connected to the movement of the Earth, the moon, and the tides. I believe it’s why Christ came in this way and why God chose Mary. Mary, the unassuming girl; a girl who I see as quiet, observant, but committed and loyal.
We are in the time of Advent. It’s a time of waiting, wondering, learning, anticipating, and sometimes feeling great pains. Our world is experiencing extraordinary labor pains right now. These pains feel at times like life will cease. Some of the pains we are feeling are the voices which were quieted for years that are now sounding the alarm. We are feeling the pains of torment and hidden trauma these women endured and the lack of acknowledgment and understanding from those who inflicted the pain. All of this unfolding in the season of waiting for new hope.
As women we often feel things in our bellies; we are pretty aware of them. The under belly of what is happening is us finally saying, “enough.” We will change the pain we have endured for centuries. The tides are turning. The moon is full and we are roaring. As you can imagine, this is terrifying for some, for others there is an undercurrent of surprise, excitement, and a hopefulness of new life. We are aware of the power men hold in this world, we feel it every day. We feel it in our wounds, in the acknowledgement of only our bodies and not our minds; we feel it in the way we are ignored. But, certain men also have this understanding of the power women hold and they are the ones who are scared. The power that women’s bodies hold and are capable of to connect, unify, rally, and support. We are strong and when women support, care and love one another, that’s when we change the world.
Mary, a sweet young teenager, unwed and pregnant, changed the world. Through her instinct, wisdom, blood, sweat and tears, this world was forever changed. I am reminded of her every Advent season and I am reminded that we have a Christ who sat with women, the poor, the unloved, the broken and did it because what is important is not our money, or pride, but our hearts, compassion, and how we love in this world. The way we reach out, instead of close off. Women are rising up to remind the world of this, and it’s bringing down those who love money, power, and pride.
For far too long a veil has been placed over women in a way to silence us and deem us unworthy. Together we know our strength and we know our worth, because we have a God and a Savior who has said it is so. God chose Christ to be born vulnerable to an unwed woman and to let the world hear her cries. Now the world is hearing ours.
My second child was a boy and this boy is precious, loving, tender, and thoughtful. I know that he too will help change this world, because he thinks his mom and sister are pretty amazing and strong.