Saturday, February 22, 2014

Virtual Baby Shower for Luz

*****Update: There was an overwhelming response to the Baby Shower for Luz, Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!****  I'm closing the paypal button now.  I appreciate you all so much.  Please continue to keep Luz and the women and teen girls of El Salvador in your prayers.****

I distinctly remember being 9 months pregnant, four times. I had a husband who worked, and I could stay at home and sit.  Sure I had 3 other kids to take care of, but they were generally non-violent, and non-destructive enough to let me rest on the couch.  When Alex came home from work we would either work on dinner and cleaning up the house together, or he would just do it for me. I could put my swollen feet up,  or stop to lean over the counter while the pressure of the baby or Braxton Hicks contractions subsided.

Long before I hit the 9 month mark, I had friends and family rally around me to bless the coming baby with all the clothes and supplies we would need. This new life would be a celebration!  I was blessed enough to not have to go to work every day.  I could spend my days with my kids, prepare for the baby and just dream about that moment.  That moment when he/she would be handed soft and pink into my waiting arms.

If you are a mom, you know that moment. That frozen in time minute, when your eyes first meet the precious eyes that you have only been dreaming about. For a second time stands still and you can finally feel, hear and see their heartbeat with your owns eyes.  The indescribable, unreal softness of their delicate skin.  Because everything in the world is right, all they need is Mama.  They little breaths they make, the peace that comes over their tiny bodies as they are tucked in to your neck.

This is how the story and the miracle of birth goes for many of us. But for some, it means hardship, pain, excruciating exhaustion.  Loneliness. Worry. Fear. I met a woman facing this a few days ago.

I don't have permission to tell you the details of Luz's story. But trust me when I tell you that I have never known such strength.  I met her and upon finding out that she had an hour walk in the dark to get home, I offered her a ride in our car.

I was told "no." The area of town she lives in is not safe for American's to go....
But that left me wondering, how then, is it safe for her to walk there???? Does my life hold more value than hers? No. Does she have kids relying on her to make it home from work, just as I do? Yes. In fact, she has 7 kids waiting on mommy to come walking through the door at 8 p.m. There's no dad there to help, all they have is her. And the wage that she HAS to bring home. She's all the love they are going to get.

So I insisted on driving her at least half way. I would stop, when they felt it was no longer safe for us to continue, and not a second before. She was 9 months pregnant for crying out loud!

Luz means "light" in Spanish. As we drove, I prayed her name, the significance of the meaning, all I could think of. Jesus is THE light.

We continued on into darkness. Luz. We drove at what is important for me to not understate, nearly, straight, uphill.  She does this walk every morning and night. UP the mountain.

I prayed Jesus' name.

We drove past men ogling young girls that I wanted to stop the car and punch.


Our van struggled and groaned as it climbed the mountain road. Pitch black.

Jesus. Luz del mundo. Jesus light of the world.

We stopped when our van could not go one more foot.  We let her out into the dark. We were told that was only halfway.  Halfway.

How does a woman have such strength?!  I was humbled and shamed.  How many days did my children create a tornado of toys, clothes, snack wrappers and sippy cups all around my house while I was too tired and too uncomfortable to get up and clean up after them???

How many days did I tell Alex that dinner wasn't ready because I was pregnant, growing a life inside of me. "Honor me! Honor my sacrifice!"  "Pick up my slack! I'm making a human being here!"

I watched her walk away into the black of night. Feeling helpless.

Thankfully she was not alone. I prayed and cried over her long into the night. She may not know it, but she was not alone.

Luz. Light. Jesus.

Help me show Luz, that she will never be alone. She works and works, there is no time for friends. There is no time for baby showers.  But we can be there for her.

We can show her that she is never alone. If you are willing. Click this paypal button.  Leave me a comment telling me what you would buy for her precious baby boy. I will go to the store and do the shopping for you. I will send a picture of the item to you. And together, we will show the light of Jesus. We will show her that while the "darkness is all around her, the Light will overcome it." (-paraphrase from book of John)

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