This year in advent I sat through a sermon about Mary and Elizabeth that was preached by a man, all the time thinking, 'that should be me preaching this sermon.' It had never bothered me before. Last year during advent I had been so frustrated with the birth imagery, the reminders in the daily devotion (for women) that I was doing that for women creativity is like birth. Even then, a little over a year ago, I still felt very ambiguous about giving birth and about my own role in bring new life into a crazy mixed up world.
And then I got pregnant. It's not that I don't have doubts about the presumption of bringing yet another human life into an already busting-out planet. Nor do I have complete confidence in my ability to raise and nurture a strong and confident daughter in a world that is still so misogynistic in many ways. But I also now realize that all those things people say about the miracle of pregnancy, and the hope of childbearing is true.
My openness to bringing my daughter into the world speaks to my hope both for her and in what God can do here. And her growing in me makes me constantly amazed at the actual fully unique human being that God is creating inside. In spite of my worries about the future, the tension I feel about being a parent, I cannot wait to meet my baby, to discover how she is like me and my husband, to see how she is totally her own person, to get to know her. And there she is in me, two months away from coming into the world and it is an indescribably feeling and joy every time she moves - even when it's in the direction of my already squeezed bladder.
I hear the Luke passages about Mary and Elizabeth and the babies jumping in their wombs in a whole new way. Jesus was just like the baby growing in me, and that blows my mind. God's greatest hope for the salvation of the world was just like my own daughter.