His Will. My Will.

My lips so often say, “Lord, Your will be done.”

It is my heart, however, that rebels and screams, “My will. My time. My plan.”

I struggle to synchronize my lips and my heart. I know what I should want and I know what I should say, “Lord, Your will be done.”

beach-1868772_1280As I say this, and try to mean it, my plan is still burning in my thoughts and seems so much better than His.

Tonight as I sit in the quiet of my living room, having a few minutes of peace while my husband runs errands with my son, it becomes blindingly clear to me that my current situation is less than ideal.

I am 39 weeks pregnant.

Christmas is 5 days away, and we are completely without a definite plan because of the baby.

I am recovering from a severe kidney infection, a harrowing experience indeed.

My family is 200 miles away; that is possibly 200 miles of extremely icy, unpredictable North Dakota roads.

My baby has been teasing me for weeks, acting like he or she would be here by now, but instead, has decided to permanently take up residence inside me.

As it is in the last weeks of pregnancy, everything is an unknown.

Today, God brought me to Luke 1:26-38. This is when the angel, Gabriel, appears to Mary and reveals to her that she will bear the Son of God.christmas-crib-figures-1060059_1280

Um…. Let’s talk about uneasiness and a less than ideal situation.

She’s a virgin. She’s engaged. She’s a teenager. Now, she carries the Savior of the world. Yikes!

In verse 28 it says that Mary was “deeply troubled” when Gabriel greeted her. Later, in verse 34 she asks him, “How can this be?”

Mary’s immediate response was not to trust God, but to doubt His plan and wonder at what it could mean. I resonate with Mary here since my first impulse is nearly always doubt, fear, anxiety, panic…then… in time… I settle upon trusting my Heavenly Father.

Mary does finally settle on blind trust when she says, “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”

Even 2,000 years ago, these words are like magic to this sick, pregnant, anxious woman.

I have no doubt throughout her 9 months of pregnancy Mary regularly wanted to scream, “My will. My time. My plan.” However, her trust in God carried her through nine months, and mine has and will carry me through these uncertain weeks.

Each time my heart screams, “My will. My time. My plan.” God will answer back and remind me to be still, give Him the glory, and let Him work in my life.

And besides, nothing would be more incredible than my little one sharing a birthday with the Savior of the world.

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A Divine Connection

Her breath is rapid and raspy. She is desperately trying to maintain calm and control, but when she reaches up to brush her finger against the child’s cheek, she notices that her hands are trembling. She touches him anyway, just barely, his flawless, unmarked skin, absent of anything worldly, works to quiet her frantic thoughts. The position of the moon tells her it is 4 am. The child’s watchful, serene gaze is fixed upon her; it makes her feel naked, his stare so intense, he must see her soul. She hopes he does not see her fear. He is my son. This idea, unanticipated and without warning, escapes the locked cask of choked thoughts she has not permitted these nine months. She allows it again. He is my son. She will say it many more times in the coming months, waiting for her heart to catch up to reality.

 

She has trouble taking her eyes off him. He is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen; however, she hasn’t seen much. She is still young. She had intended to travel. Now, she never will. He will be her life. She will watch him grow into a toddler, a teenager, and a man–but she will never see his hair gray. She knows this. From the moment she knew of his life, she has warred against the feeling that she is alone. She feels unbearably alone. She holds a knowledge that few are aware of, and even fewer understand. She wishes she could be angry; however, she knows that she is chosen–and it is a blessing. It is this thought that she has rested upon for these months. She is chosen for a reason. While he grew inside her, the nausea, doubt, and sleepless nights growing as well, she continually asked herself why. She is just a girl. I am just a girl. I am just a girl. I am just a girl. Sometimes Joseph had to remind her because it was so easy to forget. “God does not always reveal his reasons,” he would say as he wiped the tears from her cheeks, leaving a wet etch across her face.

 

Other times, the Lord would provide her with incredible moments of peace and clarity. She would breathe in the desert air deeply and smile, wonderfully thankful, knowing that she could do this. During these times, she did not remember the doubt and anxiety. Right now, cold and unsure, she grapples for any atom of peace the Lord will provide. The child in her arms shifts into her, forming his body to hers. His blinks are lengthening and soon he will submit to sleep. She will look back on this moment many times throughout his life. In the hectic years to come, she will regularly recall this terrifying, yet mysteriously peaceful moment. She will remember it as the first and last time that it was just her, and the Savior of the world.

 

I was rocking my son last night around 2 am. Nuzzled into the crook of my arm, his bright blue eyes, flecked by Christmas light color, gazed into mine. Instead of enjoying this moment, like I should have been, I was crossing my fingers that I would see his eyelids fall like bricks, only to be pried open by his powerful will to fight sleep. When his eyes did open, however, the blue would have become slightly murky. I depend on this indicator to inform me that sleep is at least imminent for my little man, meaning that I will get to crawl back into my bed shortly.

 

My thoughts drifted to the first time I held my son. This was only eight months ago, but it feels like much more. I often forget my fear as the realization that I was responsible for this child slowly uncovered itself. I often forget the smile that played across my face as I felt the warmth and softness of his skin for the first time. I often forget the questions that raced through my mind and the doubt that I even had the capacity to be a parent. I often forget the promises I made to him as he rested against my chest. As I enjoyed this memory, transfixed by the glimmer of the Christmas lights around my son’s window, I thought of my Savior’s mother. I thought about how she was just a girl, given an incredible responsibility. I thought about her fear, her doubt, and her panic as she held an 8 pound Jesus in her arms, enraptured by his flawless gaze. Then, with my son in my arms, I whispered to her, in the same way I whisper to my Grandma when I tell her I miss her, “Mary, I finally understand your story.”

The Progression of Christmas

 

 

When I was a young child,

Christmas was magic.

It was twinkling lights,

waiting for sleep that wouldn’t come,

listening for the footsteps of Santa.

Christmas was Rudolph, Frosty, the Grinch.

It was a look of longing,

brought on by the heap of gifts.

It was decorations, blinking angels, and wrapping paper.

Christmas was impatience and anticipation;

when would Grams and Granddaddy finally arrive?

Christmas was Santa,

presents, blissful ignorance.

 

When I was a teenager,

Christmas was Grams and Granddaddy.

It was a 19 hour drive,

getting ahead of the blizzard,

or staying behind it.

Christmas was Colorado,

mountains, skiing.

It was the dog’s gas problem,

Grams lighting a match.

It was the smell of coffee,

the smell of Grams’ perfume,

her hairspray.

Christmas was poker,

beating the unbeatable,

Granddaddy.

Christmas was shopping,

with Grams,

the only one who mattered.

Christmas was Grams and Granddaddy.

 

When I was a college student,

Christmas was the desire for ignorance.

It was denying what we knew,

this would be her last.

It was saying goodbye,

to her perfume, her laugh,

her singing clock.

It was the longing for the past,

the fake smiles,

Christmas was my nephew,

his brand new life,

while an old one faded.

It was subdued,

Christmas was different.

 

When it was the year after,

Christmas was new traditions.

It was North Dakota,

the longing for what was.

Christmas was her decorations,

her ornaments,

without her.

It was reminiscing,

her tears,

brought about by uncontrollable laughter,

her Bronco games, her flavorless chili.

It was making the best of it,

new life, nieces and nephews.

Christmas was their happiness,

their gifts, their ignorance.

 

When I was a young adult,

Christmas was my future husband.

It was eagerness,

my first Christmas gift to him,

the first of many.

It was wedding preparations,

dreams of a white dress and red heels.

It was honeymoon plans,

flowers, and invitations.

It was the torment of the stomach flu,

attacking each of my family members.

Christmas was nerf gun wars;

it was card games.

Christmas was my last as a single woman.

 

Now that I am a mom,

Christmas is my son.

It is his happiness,

his gifts, his traditions.

It is his first snowfall,

keeping him away from the tree,

broken ornaments.

It is my little family,

looking at the lights,

someday they will mean magic for my son.

It is gift giving, Operation Christmas Child,

Salvation Army, running errands,

cooking, cleaning, church events.

Christmas is grocery shopping.

Christmas is busy.

 

Christmas is many things.

It can be lonely, exhilarating,

worrisome, and joyful.

It only has one constant.

Christmas is Jesus Christ.

It is the nativity,

O Holy Night, Away in the Manger;

It is Mary and Joseph, Bethlehem,

and shepherd boys.

Christmas is service to Him,

seeking Him, thanking Him.

It is because of Him.

It is for Him.

Christmas is Jesus Christ.

 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord.

~Luke 2:11Christmas