The Miracle of New Life

Luke 2:9-12
And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

This week has been full… very, very full. But full of a few very, very wonderful things. The most wonderful of them being a brand new nephew. He is the most precious, sweet, and tiny little man. I already love him immensely, and have tried to spend as much time as I can with him.

So, as you can imagine, the correlation between Christmas and the birth of this little boy has been on my mind quite often. I love the concept of new life in the form of our family’s little gift and I marvel at the concept of Mary giving birth so many thousands of years ago. It’s amazing to me the protective hand over Mary and Joseph’s life in their travels. It amazes me that she gave birth with no one but Joseph supporting her. It amazes me, that unless a random midwife showed up, Joseph probably delivered their child. It amazes me that animals surrounded them, as they all were shielded from a cold evening. The scenario in and of itself is a miracle beyond comprehension.

But there is something that has been amazing me more than ever this week. The curse that was implemented because of the fall of man, was the catalyst to the saving of the sins brought by the fall of man. The pains of childbirth, a horrible curse, secondary only to separation with God, was the specific route that oneness with God could eternally be achieved. The significance of Mary experiencing the pains of childbirth in order to bring forth the savior of the world astounds me. What a miracle. What a creative and merciful God.

On top of all of this, we can be “born again” into the likeness of Christ. This image of birth involves, once again, the painful process of labor, that causes us to be transformed into newness like a newborn child. Following Christ is not just a prayer and then living the way we once were, but instead struggling and changing, while learning to know God and find our purpose in Him.

Since meeting our little Christmas gift this week, I am so much more appreciative of the gift that was the baby Christ. That he did not come as royalty, but instead as a vulnerable infant, makes his sacrifice of the throne of Heaven that much more significant. Praise God for His creativity and for the fulfillment of a much-anticipated promise.

“It was not a silent night. There was blood on the ground. You could hear a woman cry, in the alleyways that night on the streets of David’s town. And the stable was not clean. And the cobblestones were cold. And little Mary full of grace, with the tears upon her face had no mother’s hand to hold.
It was a labor of pain, it was a cold sky above, but for the girl on the ground in the dark, with every beat of her beautiful heart it was a labor of love.
Noble Joseph at her side callused hands and weary eyes. There were no midwives to be found, in the streets of David’s town in the middle of the night. So he held her and he prayed, shafts of moonlight on his face, but the baby in her womb, He was the maker of the moon. He was the Author of the faith that could make the mountains move.
It was a labor of pain, it was a cold sky above, but for the girl on the ground in the dark, with every beat of her beautiful heart it was a labor of love.”
Labor of Love by Andrew Peterson

Adios, Nursing School.

Farewell. Goodbye.

I have the strangest of realizations coming over me right now. This time on Tuesday, I will no longer be a “nursing student,” but a “graduate NURSE.” Wow.

This feeling is not one of relief, which you might expect. Considering the incredible amount of time, energy, and effort that has been put into these past two years, relief would be normal. But I have serious mixed feelings about the whole thing. Not that I’m sad to leave nursing school, trust me. But I look back over these two years at the massive and inconceivable things I’ve learned and I marvel at the direction God has had in my life.

In my senior year of high school, nursing was NEVER a thought. Medicine of a sort, yes, but not nursing. Through college searches and miles of travel, journalism was the decided direction. MY decided direction, but apparently God has other plans. So, after many twists and turns, decisions were changed and Lancaster General became the school of choice. PRAISE GOD! That decision was so pivotal in my life.

The week before nursing school began, at a parent’s event, I met the man who would become my best friend and love of my life. The first semester was such intense culture shock, and I can’t imagine going through it with better people. Friendships were formed. They were the rocks who understood exactly what this crazy thing called nursing school meant. It was this semester that I learned how to live on my own, give an injection, and insert a catheter (Too much information– maybe…).

Fast forward to this semester, and you will see a completely different person. Or maybe the same person, just armed with enough knowledge to kill you or save your life ;). Just 2 years since the time I thought nursing school would be “fun.” But two more years into becoming the person I want to be.

God has brought the most amazing people in the world into my life, through school and apart from school. Friends, who have taught me so much about myself, who have laughed with me and studied with me (maybe both at the same time), who have had 3 hour coffee dates, and who have offered constant prayers. I thank God for this time, for the times when I have been so overwhelmed I couldn’t think of anyone to turn to but Him (desperation is key, no?), for the incredible experiences I have witnessed, for the remarkable things I have learned.

With all of this coming to an end, feelings of reminiscence, joy, accomplishment, praise, and gratitude have filled me. Thank you, Lord, for Your provision, for Your direction, for Your presence. I hope that I used this time in a worthwhile way. I hope that I have spoken Christ into the people I’ve encountered.

I just pray I’ve done this well.