Christmas is almost here. Not all of us celebrate Christmas, but for those of us who do, it’s the celebrated day of our Savior’s birth! It’s a day to celebrate and rejoice!
This got me thinking, not only is it a birthday, it’s also the day Mary became a mother.
Do you remember the day you found out you were going to BECOME a mother? What was that like for you? Were you ecstatic? Did you jump up and down? Did you cry tears of joy for the years you had tried and waited? Did you call your mom or your sister? Did you find an elaborate way to tell your husband? Did you lie in bed and dream of the days to come… boy or girl… or twins?!!! What an exciting time!!!
Many women have done those things.
Or, did you think to yourself, “I can’t do this. I’m not ready. What am I going to do?”
In the moments after I found out that I was to become a mother for the first time, I walked out of a free clinic more nauseous than I have ever been, barely able to stand on my own two feet, my body tingling with fear. I slumped into my car and put my head down on the steering wheel. I didn’t know exactly where I would go or what I would do or whom I would tell, if anyone. I was a college student. I was 19 years old. I wasn’t ready to be pregnant. I didn’t want to be pregnant. But this is what I was because of the decisions I had made; so here I was in my car, outside of a free clinic in a college town, decidedly in the lowest point of my life. Never before had I ever felt so alone in all my life. Never before had I felt so small. Never before had I been so afraid.
The free clinic had given me options. Options? I shook my head to her. There were no other options for me.
So there I sat. In my car that wouldn’t move. I’d never hated myself more. I’d never felt so… hopeless.
I turned the key in the ignition with a shaky hand. Numb and sick.
This song played through the speakers on my radio:
“Hey, don’t write yourself off yet.
It’s only in your head. You feel left out and looked down on.
Just do your best. Do everything you can.
And don’t you worry what their bitter hearts are gonna say.
It just takes some time, little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine, everything (everything) will be alright (alright).”
I can’t describe adequately to you what this did for my heart as I soaked up the words of this song, other than to say that it gave me a shred of hope. Hope where all I saw was darkness. Hope where I felt alone. Hope that I could rise above what I thought of myself at that time in my life. Hope that we (my little tot and me), could be somebodies someday.
In the days to come, I prayed that we could become a family, a real one. I prayed that we could make things right for this tiny child, whether it be a little girl or a little boy. (“PLEASE BE A SHE!!!” I prayed.) I just thought I could handle a little girl, like me. My firstborn, a beautiful girl, has been a treasure in my life, as have the second child and the third and the years that go by as my husband and I beat the odds and raise these babes the best we can. There is nothing in my life that brings me more joy than my children.
It is written that Mary stored up and treasured all the things in her heart – all the happenings surrounding Jesus’ birth. I’m remembering, this season, that God gives us hope where there is none. He gives us hope in ways we might never expect. I’m forever grateful for the hope He gave me on that day. I’ve heard the same song since then at several key moments in my life when I’m praying for help and guidance. I’m no Mary, and I’ll probably never be very holy, but these things I, too, will treasure in my heart always.
Hope is a beautiful thing.