If I asked you how many people are in labor at a given moment, you'd tell me Google says approximately 490,000 babies are born every day around the world, so at least that many women are in labor as we speak. And I would say the number must be far higher, because I'm not thinking only of human babies carried in their mother's wombs, but also of the kind of creature you yourself have been carrying and the thing I have been carrying. The visions and books and songs and ministries and inventions and everything else that begins with that sudden spark and heartbeat and eventually grows limbs and lungs within us and waits to see the light of day...
Forgive the feminine metaphor, because it is most certainly not a gender experience, but as I approach this new stage of my recording project, I keep coming back to it. Mainly because I have felt so keenly aware of struggle in the process this time around. My brother-in-law said my visual artist sister is the same way in the weeks preceding her art shows.
The past few weeks I'd deem the painful "transition" stage where it was time to let the work move from my head to worktape and then allow others to enter the room.
I'm writing now in order to take note of that, so next time one of you can kindly refer me back here and my own words will bring the comfort of, "Oh, yeah, that's right. I felt like that before, and look how great we all turned out!"
At some point in our lives will undertake the development and delivery of something, and we'll feel the weight and pressure and terrible fear mixed with thrill and delight of participating in originality and co-creation with the Maker. Most of us will question the legitimacy of the conception or the sustainability of the idea and later will second-guess our direction. We'll have to measure and weigh external input against our own instincts. We'll find ourselves off-track, at times self-indulgent.
Eventually, we get down to business and welcome the help of other kinds of experts who believe in what we are carrying. (It's not the Messiah, but we are hoping to see some resemblance.) And when you know you're getting close to putting a face on the idea, all the sleepless nights seem (are) worthwhile.
It's okay to be scared now and then along the way. It is a big deal to give birth to something new. It doesn't matter that 490,000 babies are being born today. That number doesn't diminish your ONE baby in the slightest. THIS one is yours.
It's okay to say it's hard. It is. It helps, though, to remind yourself "What to Expect When You're Expecting" - every pregnant woman knows you need reminding what is going to happen when and how it's going to feel.
You might be developing a new course, adopting a child, training for the foreign mission field, brainstorming the start of a new church ministry or support group, outlining a new book, starting a small business. Labors harder in many ways than physical.
What are you carrying?
Or if you're feeling rather barren? This may not be your season bear a new thing, but it might be exactly the season for you to come alongside and support someone who is feeling the good weight. Talk them down from the cliff when they need it. (ahem - Many of you have done that for me recently.)
Maybe we are always to have our feet in one of those sets of shoes?
As for me and this making a record thing, I've rounded the bend, and the doctor has been called in. :) Let the fun begin.