Last year, at this time, I was angrily putting away the book The Womb of Advent written by Mark Bozutti-Jones in which we uses his own family’s pregnancy and impending birth as a foil for reflecting upon each day of Advent. I just couldn’t do it, I couldn’t read about the joy (and fear) of pregnancy and child birth when my own heart was so broken and my own womb so empty.
What a difference a year makes…and now I get it. Now I understand what I didn’t last year (altho’, for no good reason, I’m still a bit angry at the aforementioned author!) that anticipating this baby is like anticipating Christ--terrifying and joyful—fearfully and wonderfully made—within but not without, yet. But, I am sensitive to the reality that my own joy is another's pain and was once my own. So this Advent I pray for those who long to become parents yet find themselves still waiting, watching and hoping.
At the same time, this joy that was so (seemingly) long denied brings me full circle. This new awareness of Advent is rather like my first spring after my first long, cold winter. When I saw the first snow drops bloom I accepted that it would (despite all evidence to the contrary) be warm again and that life would return to the landscape. With that realization everything I’d ever intellectualized about the resurrection burst open. I suddenly felt the resurrection with a sharp awareness of grace that I still cling to each February/March when I begin to feel the despair of the coldness clinging to my bones.
And, now, I feel the impending birth in a way that goes beyond the ability of the mind to comprehend. Preparing a place for this baby in our lives and our home consumes us—much as I am sure the impending birth of the baby Jesus consumed his young mother.
I did not and do not want this to be a “pregnancy blog”, yet perhaps I need to accept that in the midst of pregnancy there is little else it can be. Perhaps this peculiar consumption is what I need to get my head around the reality that things that once were are no more and things that are not will be? Attempts at rational thought may occur—but realize that they are mere attempts—for the irrational part of me is contemplating the kicks felt yet unseen and pondering what motherhood will mean for us both.
For, just as Advent warns…this is truly the end of all that we have known and the beginning of a new life for us all.