In Birth There is a Longing

I was born on April 25, 1975. From all accounts, my entrance to the world
brought with it a middle of the night car ride, a clueless first time dad and mom who was thankful that her husband finally decided that indeed a hospital run was more important than sleep.  They had been waiting with excitement to be parents. Their plan had not gone according to their designed timing…you know waiting is the theme of Advent, right? And so on that exciting night, we became a family of 3.

I was a perfect first child. I was brilliant and picture worthy. I was the first grandchild on one side and the first girl on the other. Both set the stage for a plethora of dresses and bows and curlers and ruffles and dreams. Being in the prime of 70’s culture the photos also include velour and bell bottoms and big hair. I forgive you all.

I will share more about the individual players and personalities in the days to come, but the overriding theme of preparation that lays foundational groundwork for the advent of my life were the events of the next 3 years. As legend goes, my parents were encouraged by physicians to seize the success of my birth and try again soon if they desired a second child. And so, 15 months after my birth, my sister arrived. If that was not enough excitement for all, 18 months later my parents were surprised to be the proud co-creators of 3 children under the age of 3.

Take a moment and sit in solidarity for my mom. Praise the Lord that she survived.

I was in diapers. I was 32 months old and I was handed the reigns of BIGGEST Sister. While this makes a cute picture and a lovely cartoon, it played out over the next few decades as a developmental track for a bossy, driven, perfectionistic and overcritical developing brain. Out of shear survival insist, I was thrust into a “grown up” role of responsibility and rule following during a formational time of my life.

The advent of my coming of age was shaped by being the first and the pace setter. Two formative things played out during the preparation for adulthood. The first was that my sister and I were often defined by being a singular unit. Sure we were two people, but in friendships, in activities and in the world of zone parenting, we were the “girls” and we moved as a force. As I will explain further, this was the best and sometimes the worst. To this day, she is often my first line of defense against the world. But to a developing heart, there were times that I lost myself in our communal grouping. The second advent revelation was my early formed desire to allow my parents to take care of the “little” ones because I COULD DO IT MYSELF. I’m quite confident that I expressed that passion in all ways including my voice and tone.

I was the strong headed bull Taurus that come hell or high water was going to make MY way THE way. I can vividly remember throwing my siblings under the trouble bus before they could even speak in favor of my dominance. I can remember the many times that my mom and I would lock heads in conflict and at the same time get each other better than most, because let’s be honest I’m a wonderful, gifted, creative mini-Lyn.

I need you to know these insights as we begin this journey because for better and for worse, they will be common threads in my life. What was developed in this formational waiting season laid the groundwork for big successes and desperate failures. As with any formational traits, they can be used for glory and distorted in moments of great pain.

May this reminder be a beacon to each of us to longingly call on the themes of advent: hope, peace, joy and love as we develop and draw towards the Creator and Creation.

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