what it means to look like God (part 1)

in a world that tells me i am worth what i weigh, how do i live the God-image? and how do i teach my daughters to sing with soul?

i’m swelling with the life of another, growing round with pulse and kick and i’ve never felt more like a woman.

womb-an. the very word is life. and this living to breathe love into another drives me to the hospital for yet another ultrasound because doctor says he’s measuring too small, this baby inside, and i cannot do anything about it. i want to save him and he’s not even born yet, but already so fragile with his tendons and sinews all red and woven within me and “my stomach is all arms and legs” i joke to trent.

too small. so easy to feel like a failure as a mother when there is so little we can control. and this is what defines us, part of it, anyway: this needing to save. to make life and keep it alive. to create and keep re-creating, for birth is only the canal to a lifetime of releasing a child.

i’m lying on the bed and she’s seeing him, my boy, through the screen and i count the tiles on the ceiling and read the posters that remind me not to do anything that could harm my baby and i hadn’t realized how much i loved him until now.

and this too, being woman, this loving so hard it hurts because we were born to be God’s heartbeat to the world. “i want you for your heart, not your mind,” God whispered to me during university as i planned to become an english professor, and so now, i bleed.

“he’s growing like a weed,” she tells me with a smile and i feel his soles against my rib cage and i want to clap. “he’s already four pounds at 32 weeks…” and i gasp with a prayer, the kind that keeps us women alive.

and the music plays loud the ride home, my eyes crying, and the song tells me that women are to “stand and sing to the broken heart-ed.”

yes. in spite of all my career failures and disappointments and the ways i want to be something to the world, this, this is what i’m called to be.

womb-an. not just in giving life to the small of child, but in giving life to others, to those around me. in nurturing the neighbor and in being mercy to the hurting and in teaching my daughters to bleed life and to swell with the giving.

for women are the heartbeat of the world.

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