Monday, May 29, 2017

Reclaiming the Blessing for a Birth Date

By Joey Gannon from Pittsburgh, PA - Candles, CC BY-SA 2.0
After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. He said:
“May the day of my birth perish,
    and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’
That day—may it turn to darkness;
    may God above not care about it;
    may no light shine on it.
May gloom and utter darkness claim it once more;
    may a cloud settle over it;
    may blackness overwhelm it.
Job 3:1-5, NIV

I read this passage in Job a few years ago and thought, "God, those were some harsh things Job said! The man cursed the day he was born."

At one time, birthdays were important to Job's family. In Job 1: 4-5 it says, "His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified."

After Job experienced great loss, he seemed to wish he had never been born. His sadness was so deep that it's almost hard to read his words.

That's when God spoke to me about how to apply this scripture in my life: Do the opposite.

That seemed simple enough. If Job cursed the day he was born, then I needed to bless the day I was born. Every year since that revelation from God, I have taken time on my birthday to proclaim blessings on the day. Sometimes, I will read this scripture over myself and change the words to be the opposite.

Yesterday was birthday number 37 for me, so I had an opportunity once again to say that my life is blessed and so is May 28th. My birthday blessing is easy. I found out my daughter's proclamation was harder.

The first time I said her birthday blessing, I found out how much hurt I still had. I have never cursed the day she was born, but there were events that happened that made it seem cursed.

The day she was born started out like any other delivery story. It began with an abrupt water breaking, which was followed by a somewhat speedy drive to the hospital. There I learned my hunger pains from the night before were actually labor pains. It was my first pregnancy obviously.

Just a couple of hours later, there were nurses and a doctor telling me to push and that magical moment when my eyes met my daughter's for the first time. There were the first glimpses and cuddles of my daughter by her grandmas and aunt. It was the start to a beautiful and special day.

That's when the story took a different turn. Shortly after birth, there was a frustrated breastfeeding attempt because my daughter didn't seem to know how to latch or suck. In fact, her color turned blue during the feed. She was kept in the nursery for monitoring and warmth while labs were taken too. That evening I found myself curled up in the hospital bed sobbing as "genetic condition" and "heart murmur" were said for the first time. The day ended with her in a NICU bed with my husband and me by her side wondering what was happening.

That day was 11 years ago. Since then, I have enjoyed celebrating her birthdays and love to see the excitement on her face. But, revisiting the memories of the day she was born was something I never wanted to do. I didn't want to go back to where a very young and confused woman tried to grasp the reality of the situation of a newborn with Down Syndrome, a heart defect, and congestive heart failure. But, that is the part that God wanted to touch.

When it came time to pray my prayer of blessing over her life and the day she was born, I realized how much healing needed to come. I needed help seeing past the doctor's reports and the scary events that transpired years earlier.

Reclaiming blessings on the day she was born was healing for me. I wanted that day to be remembered as joyous because my daughter has brought joy to our family. The surprise of finding out my baby wasn't healthy is long gone, and my emotions have changed for the better. Why can't I look back on that day with a new perspective? That was what God was trying to teach me through all of this from Job's story.

What about you? How do you look at the date your child was born? Are there other dates on the calendar that need blessings reclaimed because they have become tainted? Ask God to show you how to move beyond the pain and bring healing back to those days.

Let's pray.

I thank you for Job's honest words found in the Bible. Job, in his pain. cursed the day he was born, but God I ask that you bless the day that my children and I were born. Let the hard parts of that birth date fade into the background. Shine your light and your love on that date. Let it be remembered as you see it, God. Let the day that brought new life into this world be blessed and let joy settle down upon it. Amen!

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