As a mother you have a vision of what your child’s birth will be like. As a first time mother, you aren’t sure what labor will be like or what exactly to expect, but you spend weeks planning who will be there, what hospital, and the things you will have.
When I think about what it would be like to be Mary I realize I might not handle things quite like she would. I imagine my version of Jesus’ birth would go a lot like this.
I would talk with Elizabeth about our sons; sharing the anxieties and excitement. I’d spend the days dreaming about holding my baby and showing Him off to all the women in the village as they helped me recover.
And then, my husband tells me we have to travel hundreds of miles away from our families to register in Bethlehem. Perfect birth ruined… Anxiety, fear, and disappointment would set in… And probably a tantrum or two….
So reluctantly, I would travel to a new place praying we make it back before the baby comes.
And then it happens! In the middle of the night, the labor begins. Can you imagine!? You are in a strange town with your new husband about to have your first baby?? And not just your baby, but the Child of God that the world has been waiting for! I would be screaming at my husband as we look for places for me to give birth. “No this isn’t right! This can’t be happening, not like this! Not like this! I need a midwife, my mother, Elizabeth… I can’t have the Savior in a stable!”
Can you imagine Joseph’s thoughts? I can’t imagine the pressure to provide a nice place for his new bride to give birth to his first son, not to mention the Son of Man! And to top it off, I doubt he had much experience delivering babies. Can you imagine? Two new inexperienced parents alone, birthing the Son of God!
I imagine I would be laying there holding Jesus, crying, apologizing for not being better, not providing more… All my insecurities glaring at me.
As I imagined how I would react to Mary’ situation I began feeling sorry for her. That’s when God revealed something to me. How could I feel sorry for Mary!? She got to experience indescribable joy and amazement only she and Joseph were blessed to experience.
That’s when I realized if that had been me I probably would have missed the immense JOY God had in store for me the night His Son was born.
I imagine Mary had more faith in those moments then I probably would have. I imagine she looked down at her Savior with an immense glow of wonder and delight. I imagine the stable, the manger, the animals all faded away.
God showed me the hundreds of moments that he has planned to fill me with Joy that I allowed the Devil to destroy with anxiety and stress. So many moments lost because they didn’t go as planned or pressure to be better.
So what do I do now? I do my best to slow down, lean into Him, and try to experience the joy in the small things.
I hope this Christmas you get to experience the true JOY of the day. Don’t let the details of the day steal the awesomeness of our Savior’s birth. Mary didn’t.