God Is A Midwife (Advent Reflections)

December 11, 2013

Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Psalm 22:7-9


God Is A Midwife

We wait.

Murmuring, whispering–we’re anxious for this babe to be born.

We feel the swelling grip of the contractions of this world, and we wait some impatient, uncertain moments for Him to crown–to be crowned.

We breath s l o w–concentrated efforts to carry ourselves from one pulsing moment to the next. We fix our eyes on just one point–the invisible promise of His imminent coming, and with that, the promise of our own becoming.

God is a midwife to His laboring world. He holds us, reminding us to breathe, He props us up and leans in to keep us from sinking. We bare down, push too hard and He whispers quiet, but firm, “s l o w–breathe“.

We sweat and bleed. We struggle and pant. We live weary.

He knows how life comes. He’s spun it around in His hands and watched every moment leading up to this, and what will come after, what has already been. He knows the burn of labor, the crushing pain of the gift that both splits and fills us.

We await His coming.

We wait and in the long stillness of night, in the filth of a stable, ripe with droppings, the King drops in. He fills the whole stinking space with His glory–

Heaven sings over this babe.


The world rocks and groans with the afterpains.

Christ, a miracle landing smack in the middle of a mess.

We re-labor over this impossible birth, year after year, each shadowed Advent and the seasons still coming.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

(The Lorica, St. Patrick)

Immanuel–God with us.

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  • Holly

    Oh my , Kris, this is exquisite. As a former apprenticing midwife, I get this. So much. You’ve articulated each stage, each rush, each.and.every moment with acuity and the parallels to the way in which God meets us in all of it–it is perfect. Thank you.

    • Kris Camealy

      Thank you, Holly for your sweet words. I wish I’d had a midwife to attend my first birth–things would have surely been so different. I have long considered training to be a doula. Maybe some day, when my own babies are older and it’s a little easier to leave them for longer stretches *smile* Grace and joy to you, sweet friend! I pray you are basking in the fullest glory of your own newborn babe. XO

  • Janel A

    “the world rocks and groans with the afterpains” – oh how that resonates.

    • Kris Camealy

      yes, Janel. It does for me too. Somedays, the ache just burns–but God. He’s so generous to hold us steady.

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  • Elizabeth

    So very beautiful. What a glorious telling, raw and ripe, rich and red, crimson with His life-giving blood, His life-saving blood. Your words, a gift during Advent and always.

    • Kris Camealy

      Thank you for reading and encouraging me, Elizabeth. I am ever grateful for YOU, my friend.

  • Shelly Miller

    This is gorgeous Kris. Glory!

    • Kris Camealy

      Thank you, my friend. What a huge gift it was to chat with you today. A true highlight of my week! XO

  • Lisa notes

    God is a midwife. Yes. “With” – it’s one of the best words ever to describe our relationship with Jesus. Thanks for this, Kris.

    • Kris Camealy

      Thank you for saying so, Lisa. It is the message I think he most wanted me to hear, that He is WITH us always. What a gift that is!!

  • ro elliott

    This is beautiful …and we too …many times are called to assist the midwife…a spiritual doula…it’s takes a raw faith too…to be beside one that is being split opened…the one who is spilling blood…and to be able to guide them back to their focal point …to help them breath slow…take those deep cleansing breaths…and hold hope for them until they see the crowing…and new life comes forth. Praises…yes…Emanuel…God with us!!!!

    • Kris Camealy

      Yes! I thought about this too. As He is with us so He also calls us to come along side others who labor. We learn from the Father what this ought to look like, and in our emulation of Him, glory shines in the dark delivery rooms–hope dawning!

  • Chris Olson

    I just saw such an event for the fourth time recently. You have changed my view of birth. I’d never thought of God as a midwife, but it fits.

    • Kris Camealy

      So glad you found this helpful. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment and share. 😉

  • Christie Purifoy

    What a way to end my day – gorgeous!

  • James Jardin

    This is really good Kris. Do you know the hymn Come Thou Long Expected Jesus (tune of Jesus What a Friend of Sinners)? That is the hymn that immediately came to mind when I read this post. Good stuff!

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  • Devi Abraham Duerrmeier

    Thanks for these raw words – they so resonate with me (I had our 2nd son six months ago, and it’s still a fresh, raw, wonderful memory).

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