The Agony and the Ecstasy
I usually post on Fridays but have a good excuse for being late: I was watching my amazing twenty-one month old granddaughter, Lily, while her precious sister, Cassidy, was being born! What a blessing!! Wish I could show you a pic of these two beauties, but they are social media shy.
My daughter, Alexa, was such a trooper during her labor and delivery. She went from five to ten centimeters dilated in thirty minutes yet made it through! With Lily, that process took four hours which was considered quick. This time, she could barely catch her breath between contractions. The pain was so intense, since her epidural was ineffective, that her legs continued to shake for a half hour after the delivery.
When it came time to push, she had to stop because the umbilical cord was wrapped two times around Cassidy’s neck. If you’ve been in that situation, you know it’s nearly an impossible task. It was imperative that she refrain from pushing because the cord was wound so tightly that it had to be cut before Cassidy came out. Even though the doctor and her husband assured Alexa that their daughter was okay, it was more than a bit unsettling not to hear her baby cry when she was born. The medical staff worked their magic and Cassidy’s delayed wail brought both joy and relief. They laid this little one on her Mommy’s chest, took a picture, then whisked her away to monitor her. A while later, Alexa finally got to hold her little cherub and in that moment, all she had gone through was absolutely worth it.
I’m happy to report that Mommy and baby are doing great. And I can’t seem to get enough time with my sweet Cassidy… or Lily for that matter. But the way my second granddaughter entered this world was filled with intense pain, frightening moments, and uncertainty. We all endure seasons or situations that are hard and heartbreaking, and we don’t know how we’re going to make it through. But just like Alexa’s labor and delivery, we can be assured that ultimately, they will be worth it. II Corinthians 4:16-18 puts it this way…
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (NIV)
I don’t know what you’re facing and would never try to minimize it. God never does. But I hope these verses will encourage you to press on as you rely on the Lord moment by moment.
While Alexa was bearing unimaginable pain, I had the privilege of caring for and playing with Lily. As my daughter was recovering from a difficult birth, I got to meet and snuggle with Cassidy. As I thought about this, it made me realize something. Although dark times come, their appearances tend to be few and far between. Most of our lives fall somewhere between the agony and the ecstasy, hopefully closer to the latter. Let’s appreciate the normal and the wonderful in life, and have the confidence that when trouble comes, beauty will come out of it… and it will be worth it.
Just something I’m thinking about as I anticipate seeing my precious granddaughters again along the way.