Written by Ms. Funmi M.
My younger self was always intrigued by the stories of childbirth from mothers – the pain, discomfort, lasting ‘deformation’ to the woman’s body and many more serious concerns and experiences. It however left me confused when I see women with their second, third, fourth etc. pregnancy. I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘Has she forgotten all that she went through? Is this woman okay? Hasn’t she learnt from the past pain she described to me?’ As time went by, I began to see that perhaps the joy of holding that precious one in one’s arm is greater than the pain and discomfort of the past months. Most women seem to treasure the calling to be a helper in bringing up an image barrier of the Creator over the discomfort of a swollen nose and looking weird in family pictures. The pain and struggle of childbirth and rearing is real, but the joy ahead is greater – most women will agree..
I say this as I think about the many lessons that history is meant to teach us and how often we forget the lessons. I am quickly reminded of the journey of the Israelites from slavery of 430 years in Egypt to freedom in the Promise Land. I often wonder how anyone could forget seeing the hand of God as the sea parted ways. I am quick to caution myself not to be too quick to call the Israelites out on this one. Our 21st century world just went through an incredible pandemic, one that our century has never witnessed before, yet, as our cities open up and the mask begins to fade away and turn into waste nuance, we are beginning to leave the painful history behind us and forge ahead. The question remains, what should we do with history?
History is a teacher that we should learn from. A wise woman will study the past and not fall into the same mistake others have fallen into. She will leverage the failure of others and her own mistakes – not dwell on them, but rather, learn from them. I have often wondered how the children of Israel were to survive the aftermath of slavery – 430 years of slavery is a long time: longer than the Chattel slavery. Studying history, Israel was commanded by their King to celebrate their freedom year after year as opposed to nesting over their slavery!
Being a woman in this age seems challenging. The expectations and demands for our time, attention, intellect, looks etc. are countless. How did we get here? As I look into history, I see clearly that there is nothing new under the sun. Talk about the French women of the 17th century that had to spend hours in making their 3ft tall hairstyles and leave it untouched for weeks allowing their head become a home for lice and fleas. Or the 18th century ladies that had their crinoline catch fire multiple times all to follow the appearance expectations set on them. History shows us clearly that the problem is not with our generation or a certain era. As a wise man once said, every generation has its own blind spots. The problem is in the inherent sinful nature of all human beings.
The same history presents the solution clearly to us, it shows us that life is fleeting; we are here today and gone tomorrow. The solution to the inherent problem of human nature is Jesus Christ. We obviously cannot help ourselves. I am a believer that the Bible is the infallible, inspired word of God that clearly presents to us who God is, the world He created, who we are and how to live in this world. It is really that simple. It is a lack of wisdom that makes a man/woman go against the manufacturer’s instruction and again, history has shown us over and over again that it is not in man to direct his path.
Life comes with challenges of different shapes and sizes. As our faces are and our fingerprints are unique, so are our challenges. At times, language does a poor job at expressing our innermost thoughts, struggles and hurt, but we can come to our creator and groan before Him through Jesus Christ. We can sit at His feet in silence yet every word in our hearts is heard.
I pray that you receive grace to learn from history and lay ALL your burdens at His feet.