Thursday, April 28, 2011

Significance of a Name

Eve,


Your name became quite significant to us in the months preceding your conception. So much so that it deterred us from every other name we had considered in seasons prior. I began to see your name everywhere. Those three beautiful letters surfaced in more words than I could count and evoked a unique depth of emotion every time I saw them. On some occasions they gave me chills . . . the hair on my arms would literally stand up and at other times they would bring tears to my eyes. I was unsure in those days of the depth of meaning attached to your name and all it would come to represent in my journey with God, but I was sure that there was Divine intent buried within it . . . a message of sorts that would soon unfold.


And it did . . .


The Holy Spirit steadily brought revelation; first, through the literal meaning of Eve, which is “LIFE”. I received it as a weighty promise in light of the loss we experienced between you and Jonah. Fear held me captive in the weeks subsequent to receiving confirmation that you were with us. I had tasted the bitter sting of death and the pain of a prematurely empty womb, and I could not bare the thought of you passing in the same manner. As fear would rise within me, your name would begin to echo in my heart (even prior to the confirmation of your gender), and my spirit would receive strength from the promise attached . . . LIFE. God was tenderly speaking “EVE” over my womb (“LIFE” in the aftershock of death) and it became a sword with which I combated the enemy’s attempts to evoke fear and remembrance of the fragility of our existence and ultimately a resting place for my soul.


Once the promise of life was firmly established within me, the name Eve began to take on a new dimension of importance; this time in all that it connotes and represents in its biblical form. Eve has often been perceived as an afterthought of God and most closely associated with the downfall of humanity, yet her essence exposes the Divine in uniquely rich ways.


The creation story builds in complexity and beauty, each day bringing grander expressions of the essence of God’s heart and mind until ultimately he creates man (Adam) in his image. Yet, the vast world in all its beauty from sky to sea and all the life in between was incomplete. God needed a zenith, a final touch, so he crowned his creation with Eve (woman). She became the jewel at the apex of his creativity, the most dazzling and intricate creature on earth. Her essence was infiltrated with the captivating beauty of God- his capacity and yearning for intimacy, his tenderness and longing to be desired. Through Eve God expresses himself in feminine form: relational, tender, merciful, fierce and fiercely devoted, inviting, alluring, and passionate. She is endowed with the ability to intimately participate in the processes of creation, to be the vessel through which the image of God is multiplied into the world. Yes, Eve was the personification of a beautiful, inviting and alluring God- a life-offering, life-saving lover, full of tender hope and mercy.


The unfolding of the significance of your name didn’t stop there. Once the revelation of God’s dynamic expression of himself to creation through the essence of femininity overwhelmed me, the Holy Spirit carried me deeper . . . to a prophetic message of the cross revealed through Eve.


While sitting in an ornate pew at Christ Church Cathedral on the Good Friday preceding your birth, meditating upon the sacrifice of Jesus (remembering the pain he bore in his body to bring redemption to humanity) images of childbirth began to flood over me and I suddenly saw their correlation to all Christ endured to bring life to his people. My mind carried me back to the garden after Eve ate of the forbidden fruit; to the moment it was declared that she would endure a multiplication of pain in childbirth and to Paul ultimately declaring it would provide salvation for her soul. Those passages could be interpreted a hundred different ways, but I received them fresh and new that day . . .


I saw them as the first prophetic picture released upon humanity of the coming Messiah and the road of suffering he would walk in order to deliver and redeem humanity. I suddenly viewed the agony preceding the emersion of new life from the womb as a picture of Christ’s suffering on the cross and the excruciating pain he endured prior. Though he asked God to rescue him (to take this cup) if there be any other way to bring redemption to the earth, he ultimately walked the road of suffering. He was faithful unto death . . . And it was that death that restored fallen man and reunited humanity with God.


As I move closer and closer to the day of your emersion from the womb there are moments when I (like Jesus) ask “if there be any other way . . . take this cup from me” and yet I ache to ultimately surrender to the process God has set forth and receive the revelation of life it brings. Just as Jesus faithfully endured agony and pain to bring life to me (and you and all of humanity), so, too, I ache to faithfully endure the pain of your birth, keeping my eyes on the promise of new life that will come through it. I want more than anything for my spirit to be tender and receptive to the whisper of God during your birth . . . not to resist and fight it, but to open entirely to the prophetic picture he intends to deliver as I walk this road.


Though some may see the pain of childbirth as a curse that fell on Eve in the garden (as perhaps I did at one time), I am beginning to view it as one of the greatest gifts God has given women . . . an opportunity not only to intimately participate in the creation process, but also to taste of the agony of his sacrifice and the triumphant victory of new life it affords!


So you see, Eve, my beautiful girl . . . your name is rich with revelation and a monument to the activity of God over me. You have had a ministry of grace and healing even from the womb, and I anticipate its continuation. Your dad and I are anxious to welcome you into our world and watch as the plans and intent of God unfold over you. Our hearts are forever bound to yours with the most ardent devotion under heaven.


We love you, Eve!


Mom

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Eve Belly 37 Weeks

As you can see, my fetal girth is out of control! :) Technically, this child could be in my body for another 5 weeks without intervention. Can you even fathom how big I'd be at that point? The funny thing is I carry my kids like this, but in the end they aren't typically that large . . . Well, so far I only have one to compare to. . . he was just 7lbs. Who knows, Eve could exceed his weight, but for some reason I doubt it. Wonder if the gypsy saw me today if he'd predict Eve's birth weight to be 5lbs 10oz. :)

And here's a glimpse of our girl in action! Jonah NEVER moved like this . . . If her movement in the womb is any indication of her personality, I'd say she's going to be a LOT like me. :)

video

Childbirth and The Road of the Cross

I am confident this Lenten season and Easter were perfectly ordained to precede Eve’s arrival. I’ve been amazed the past 40 days at the spiritual parallels between preparation for childbirth and the overarching theme of this time in the life and history of our church. The significance of Lent lies in its representation of the 40 days Jesus spent being tested and tried in the wilderness prior to his crucifixion. It was a time truth was twisted and hurled like darts at Jesus’ faith, but he did not waiver. He boldly proclaimed the promises of his Father and the victory he'd been inherently given in the face of attack.

I have been learning to speak to the lies of the enemy this Lenten season in much the same way, most predominantly in the realm of childbirth. I have had ample opportunity to exercise authority over the enemy’s attempts to impart fear and ultimately suffocate the revelation of God and rob me of intimate dependence upon him in this sacred season. The battle has been raging in and around me, but I have found a steadfast hope in God and I will not be moved.

Yesterday (Good Friday), while sitting in an ornate pew at Christ Church Cathedral meditating upon the sacrifice of Jesus, remembering the pain he bore in his body to bring redemption to humanity, I was again moved by images of childbirth and their correlation to all Christ endured to bring life to his people. My mind carried me back to the garden after Eve ate of the forbidden fruit; to the moment it was declared that she would endure a multiplication of pain in childbirth and to Paul ultimately declaring it would provide salvation for her soul. Those passages could be interpreted a hundred different ways, but I received them fresh and new yesterday . . .

I saw them as the first prophetic picture released upon humanity of the coming Messiah and the road of suffering he would walk in order to deliver and redeem humanity. I suddenly viewed the agony preceding the emersion of new life from the womb as a picture of Christ’s suffering on the cross and the excruciating pain he endured prior. Though he asked God to rescue him (to take this cup) if there be any other way to bring redemption to the earth, he ultimately walked the road of suffering. He was faithful unto death . . . And it was that death that ultimately restored fallen man and reunited humanity with God.

As I move closer and closer to the day of Eve’s emersion from the womb there are moments when I (like Jesus) ask “if there be any other way . . . take this cup from me” and yet I ache to ultimately surrender to the process God has set forth and receive the revelation of life it brings. Just as Jesus faithfully endured agony and pain to bring life to me (and you and all of humanity), so, too, I ache to faithfully endure the pain of childbirth, keeping my eyes on the promise of new life that will come through it. I want more than anything for my spirit to be tender and receptive to the whisper of God in this process . . . not to resist and fight it, but to open entirely to the prophetic picture God intends to deliver as I walk this road. Though some may see the pain of childbirth as a curse that fell on Eve in the garden (as perhaps I did at one time), I am beginning to view it as one of the greatest gifts God has given women . . . an opportunity not only to intimately participate in the creation process, but also to taste of the agony of his sacrifice and the triumphant victory of new life it affords!