By: Jana Greene
As I approach the 15th anniversary of my continuous sobriety from alcohol, new opportunities are rising up. To tell you the truth, I’m a little scared and intimidated. And excited. Of course, I’m excited too.
God is always working on the good for those who call Him savior. He’s always brewing up, stirring up, putting things in motion.
The whole analogy as a New Year being like a re-birth is so cliche I hesitate to use it. But Abba gave me a little vision earlier this week, so as cliche as the Baby New Year thing is, I think it applies. Maybe it will encourage you to keep pushing toward what our Father is calling you into in 2016.
Hurricane Andrew made landfall on the Floridian coast the exact hour I gave birth to my Firstborn. I know this because while I was laboring to bring her into the world with no drugs whatsoever, my “focal point” was a tiny television set propped on a TV stand high on the hospital wall (this was way before flat-screen sets.)
Everyone was watching the news on August 24, 1992. Andrew came ashore as a Category 5 hurricane when it struck Dade County, Florida. We lived far from the danger in North Carolina, but the country was riveted to the powerful landfall.
I’d been ushered into the delivery room in a big rush and the nurses who had prepped the room had been watching the news had not had time enough to even turn the volume down.
My baby was coming, and she was coming fast.
Here’s what I remember, in a flurry of surreal-ness…an audio-soup of words from the doctor, encouragement from my husband, instructions from nurses, the voice of The Weather Guy, and – most importantly – what I would come to recognize as that intuition of Mother Instinct:
OhmyGod, there is NO WAY this being is going to exit my body in the manner expected, THISISIMPOSSIBLE, I cannot believe this is how babies are born and we haven’t gone extinct as a species! **Screaming, blinding, severing pain**
You’re further along than we thought! Eight centimeters already! Almost there!
FOCUS ON THE TV. In childbirth class, they told us to KEEP A FOCAL POINT. Pant, pant, pant.
…”Ladies and Gentleman, here we see the eye wall nearly making landfall. Take precautions. This is a dangerous storm…”
You can DO this! Breathe!
I can’t I can’t I CAN’T! You don’t understand I CANNOT.
You CAN! You ARE!
I cannot blink, transfixed on my Focal Point. The Weatherman cuts to live feed of Homestead, but the storm is at such a chaotic frenzy, I cannot tell what I’m looking at. The driving winds and rain make everything blurry.
Not long now!
Focal point, PANT, PANT, PUSH. Focal point, PANT, PANT. PUSHHHHH.
…”It’s official. The storm has made landfall. Here we see the eye intensifying as the storm….”
Here she comes!
Searing excruciating pain, pressure.
Good job, Mama!
…“We urge you to stay indoors, many buildings have lost their roofing…”
JESUS, HELP ME!
One more push! She is coming!
AUUGGHHHHRRRRRR! **I give it EVERYTHING!**
A RUSH. In the physical realm, in the spiritual realm! She was immediately the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. I remember being amazed that a human being just exited my BODY.
THERE SHE IS. MY DAUGHTER!
Then silence. She didn’t cry, she didn’t move. In that moment, I summoned what would become MANY a “mom prayer.” It was simply, please Jesus…please. My Spirit made utterances that my mind couldn’t comprehend, and where there were gaps in-between, Holy Spirit intervened.
There is nearly no sound in the room. The Weather Man is silent. I only hear the wind and rain from the television set.
And then her tiny cry. Music to my ears! And her wriggling little body placed on my belly. Angels are present in the room now, I swear to you. I feel their presence welcoming my daughter.
It was as if God whispered in my ear, “You can take your eyes off the storm now. LOOK! Look at her. Nothing else matters!”
My Focal Point has changed entirely, and for life.
The entire labor was three hours long, start to finish. It seemed MUCH longer, I can assure you. And there were some complications for my daughter and I. I nearly stroked out during the birth, the toxemia was not immediately relieved upon delivery as expected. She was three weeks early and had to have a little extra attention from the pediatricians.
Life is always more complicated than you hope.
But, ya’ll. The new life that came into the world as a result of the pain and pushing and impossibility…
Pain. WHAT pain? Have you seen my baby? She is a MIRACLE!
I wanted to tell everyone, “Hey, I know you THINK you know what love is, but let me tell you…..to have a baby is to REALLY know.”
Bringing it back around to the current day – 2015 has kind of a gestation year for me. I’ve kind of had my eye on the storm. It didn’t start – nor is it exiting – in quite the way I expected.
But the impossible is going to come into being. I’m claiming it. Because God is always working on the good for those who call Him savior. He’s always brewing up, stirring up, putting things in motion.
We are living in crazy, radical, extreme times. The storm is intensifying…can you feel it? Spiritually, our world is spinning in what amounts to far beyond a Category 5 storm.
Take precautions. This is a dangerous world. Yet, even in the chaotic frenzy, God is unchanged. People need to know that He is a worthy Focal Point.
Jesus is coming back, and He’s coming back fast.
My prayer for the new year is “HOLY SPIRIT, MAKE LANDFALL!”
Yep, I’m a little scared and intimidated by new opportunities. Things like public speaking and possibly giving my testimony to a national TV audience. Out of my comfort zone, just a tad. I’m giving it EVERYTHING.
I want to say to the world, “Hey, I know you think you know what love is, but to be redeemed in Christ is to REALLY know. Your Creator LOVES YOU just exactly where you are, even in the eye of the storm.”
Please pray with me that God’s voice will rise above the audio-soup of chaos in 2016, and that the hurting ones will receive it.
God bless us, every one!
5 thoughts on “Changing Focus and Making Landfall – The birth of a New Year”
Serious and funny at the same time. Brilliant.
“Happy Anniversary Jana,” been a day by day journey. You made it girl, be proud.
We celebrate in January together. Been a few more years for me.
I was 36 and will have 37 years of continuous sobriety.
Great blessing that I attribute to God’s grace.
That’s FANTASTIC, Stephanie! I’m SO glad to hear from you. Been thinking about you lately ❤ CONGRATS on your amazing accomplishment, lady. God bless you! Isn't His Grace AMAZING? Someone should really write a song about it. 😉
Well, thank you kindly, Ronnie. As per usual, it is not the piece I sat down at the computer to write. God had other designs 🙂 Bless you, and Happy New Year to you and yours!
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We moved from a big house on LBI in NJ to a condo in NY
last January! Time for the change, but I do miss our