I was asked to speak in church (sort of) on Christmas Day and some of the message I think is perfect for a New Year, so I am recycling it here.
You Already Are What You Are Becoming
Perhaps some of you have already set your New Year’s intentions. Even if you haven’t, that’s okay. I know that you are often thinking of your hopes and dreams and desires for change or transformation. And even if you haven’t spoken it out loud–it has already entered your heart. And what I am here to tell you today is that what you project onto the future, is actually here now. In this moment. The dream or change that you desire, has already filled in every room in your heart and is no longer even there any more. It’s now in your blood stream.
We’ve just come away from a wonderful holiday this all about a birth story. I love birth stories. And you probably do too, because you are reading a birthy blog. But what we sometimes forget about Mary (and maybe all the women who’s stories we read) is that she didn’t become Jesus’ mother the moment of his birth. He had to grow inside her, underneath her heart for 10 months, just like all babies get here.
And that is how almost everything works. Almost everything grows inside of us, and then is born. Rilke is famous for saying “Everything is Gestation and then birthing.” He’s not talking necessarily about human babies. But we grow and birth other kinds of babies all the time–like, a beautiful art project, or a book, or a change in behavior. All these things grow in our hearts for a while before we may actually make the art piece or decide to get baptized or to uplevel our relationship.
Some you know the story of my daughter, Phoebe, who told me 9 months ago (when she was 4), that when she grew up, she wanted to be a prophet. And so I asked her if she knew what was involved with prophet work. And she said no. So I told her, that according to the Bible Dictionary prophets (not to be confused with THE prophet), prophets teach righteousness, and they testify of Christ, so any of God’s people can be prophets or prophetesses. And she thought about that, and she realized that she was already doing that, and I agree, she is a great prophetess.
Phoebe also wants to be a mom when she grows up. And even though she doesn’t have a real baby. She is such a good momma to her kids.
So whatever your intentions are for the new year. I’d love to invite you to embrace the idea of how you already are, or do or have what you want and hope for.
We know that Jesus Christ, as a wee little baby, did not know everything about of his divine mission at first–the scriptures say “from grace to grace.” But that didn’t change the fact that even as an infant he was the Savior of the world.
Another example is Adam and Eve–both Adam and God, when they were talking about Eve, called her the mother of all living, before she ever had a baby.
And thousands of years before Jesus was ever born and did his Atonement for our sins and sadnesses,– everyone on earth including Adam and Eve, could use to the benefits and power of the Atonement, as if it already happened.
When I think about the young Virgin Mary, I’m sure that that the angel’s visit to her was the beginning of her relationship with Jesus. She had to have already known that he would come, and loved him.
Even though my daughter is 5 years old, my relationship with her has been much longer than that.
I was a writer long before I ever published a book. And I was a healer, long before I ever knew I would become one.
Birth stories are magical and inspirational (especially those in our book). And I think it’s no mistake that one of the most powerful and most told stories in the Christian Cannon, is a birth story. And that baptism, that first ordinance that gets us in the door to Christ is likened unto birth.
If I could have one wish for everyone this New Year it would be that we could all remember that everything is gestation and then birthing. And so whatever your goals, even if you can’t tell the birth story of that goal yet, remember that you already are what you are becoming, and that each step of the journey to becoming has value. And by appreciating each day and each step, you honor the pregnancy as well as the birth. And if you ever feel stretched or heavy along the way, perhaps you’ll stop on a hillside to breathe and recognize that you are carrying holy cargo, and perhaps it is not heaviness, but abundance that surrounds you.
And if I could have a second wish this New Year, it would be that we can all recognize in each other, the good fruit we are each gestating. Just like John the baptist recognized the Savior in his mother’s cousin’s womb, and lept for joy. May we all have joy for each other and for what we are and what we are becoming.