As we travel toward December 25th, I will be marking the four weeks of Advent with this series –
Pregnant with Christmas. With one child born two days after Christmas and my tummy full of another one right now, so many of my thoughts are on that teenage mother of 2,000 years ago and her un-shakeable faith. So, each Sunday/Monday I will offer part of my own stumbling journey toward motherhood and what I’ve learned from watching Mary’s. I hope you’ll join me. And teach me.
I have been afraid lately.
I look at Micah’s curlicue eyelashes in the early sun as he breathes on my cheek — the lashes that that look like they were made to bat at cherubs — and I feel the fear steal into the moment and lie down cold beside me in the bed.
It places a hand on my 6-month full belly.
I have been afraid of becoming a parent again. Because I don’t know if my heart can hold this third ocean of vast new ways in which to worry. A third sea of vulnerability. And I feel lost in my inadequate life boat, without compass or equipment to predict what storms might come and when. The cold is not my friend. Nor is my imagination or my dreams.
I am afraid of the unknown.
While the two boys that currently stretch my heart to places I didn’t know it could go have romped and whooped and hollered their love song all around and about and down to my tippy toes, I have been hiding. Because, truth is, they terrify me.
How they might lay me low with one hurt, one disaster, one irreparable break.
I have become afraid of the dark.
So I travel in my mind to a dirt road and a young girl on a donkey crossing dust and ruts and dung with her brand new husband en route to a town where they will be strangers. I feel my belly sway with the donkey’s gait and my stomach contract in protest at the hours of travel time and so many unknowns to fill them.
He sent her carrying the Light of the World into the darkness of the unknown.
He sent his own Son into the dark.
As a Christian I believe we live in parallel worlds. One world consists of hills and lakes and barns and politicians and shepherds watching their flocks by night. The other consists of angels and sinister forces and somewhere out there places called heaven and hell. One night in the cold, in the dark, among the wrinkled hills of Bethlehem, those two worlds came together at a dramatic point of intersection. God, who knows no before or after, entered time and space. God, who knows no boundaries, took on the shocking confines of a baby’s skin, the ominous restraints of mortality. – Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew, pp.44-45.
The Father-God risked it all, no holds barred.
On earth a baby was born, a king got wind of it, a chase ensued.
In heaven the Great Invasion had begun, a daring raid by the ruler of the forces of good into the universe’s seat of evil. – Philip Yancey, The Jesus I Never Knew, p.43.
Head on, into the dark.
I light candles with my sons. My Dutch family used to clip them to the Christmas tree – a tradition beloved until branches started to smolder and kids to squeal. We light our way one bumpy step at a time. And the nightmares don’t all dry up or the waters of worry recede. Instead, I see my way one small step at a time through them.
Because I believe what her baby would grow up to fulfill. I believe that the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness will never be able to put it out.
So I pull the duvet tight around Micah and his locks and warm my legs against his fat feet. And we glow with a light that is more than the sunrise.
A time to weep and a time to dance.
On meeting my daughter.
Because once upon a time I thought I’d rather eat glass than have kids.
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I love the thought behind this series! LOVE it! Can’t wait to read more! :)
I sang a song at church last year by Faith Hill called A Baby Changes Everything..this post made me think of those words. Look forward to the next installment!!
Beautifully expressed. It truly is scary being a parent – I never knew how many things could go wrong – with just a blink of an eye our world could be turned upside down forever if things went the wrong way. Scary! Sometimes I wonder how those without Christ withstand these worries. And so – on my blog during December, I am doing a series on pursuing peace. Peace can be hard to find in this world. http://womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com/2010/11/peace-on-earth-december-challenge-come.html
I very much look forward to your next post on Mary! I have a feeling it’s going to lead us towards peace also. She was a woman filled with peace.
Beautiful words Lisa-Jo. I agree with Chrissy! Can’t wait to read the other posts! What a way with words you have!
(Wait…I think I just sounded like Yoda.) :)
i do. i do. oh, i do love this…
i don’t know anything except that He is with me and so many beautiful have gone before…
i talk a little about it here and Mary’s heart:
i too will enjoy this journey and i hope to hear with you from those gone before…I need you wherever you are!
Blessings mama, Abby:)
So good! Blessings to you.
What other choice is there but to follow that seems-to-flicker-at times light?
I have to push the thoughts and fears away as well sweet friend, I believe pregnancy has a way of heightening our danger-radar! can you even imagine what fears Mary had to content with?
I know that fear Lisa-Jo. Once upon a time there were three that filled my heart to over-flowing. Now they have added two more daughters and a son and seven grandchildren, and there are nights when I lay down and the fear settles heavily around me. And I think about Psalm 139 and remind Him that He loves them more than even I do and that He wrote their story before I ever knew them. And He promised it would be a good story.
He weaves His grace in and through these precious relationships and it all works together for good.
These were such beautiful words. Thank you for sharing. You have such a way with words and I love reading your thoughts. I look forward to the rest of the series.
I, too, have often thought about what Mary must have been feeling. How she treasured things up in her heart. And now, a new dimension is added as the oldest of our seven is expecting her first. A brand new eternal being entrusted to my baby and her precious husband. The Lord is so Faithful. He continues to add to the rich tapestry of the life of our family. We are so very blessed. And as you walk through this season of Advent while waiting for your own new arrival, may you have new revelations of His Purposes, Provision, and Peace.
It is so frightening isn’t it, when we look at it through our fallen eyes? But we don’t have to be frightened. One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 40:11…
“He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs with His arm,
And carry them in His bosom,
And gently lead those who are with young.”
I was lead to this verse right before I had my miscarriage and carried it in my heart through the next two pregnancies. I carry it with me still.
Praying for you!
Yes. I love your words and I *need* whatever insights you can share to combat my mama-fear. It’s a fear that threatens my faith like nothing I’ve encountered. I know I need to look at this differently. . . light my own little candle… and I thank you for sharing the light…
I loved this post, Lisa-Jo. I imagine being a mother changes everything, even how we approach Jesus. My younger sister is pregnant for the first time, and I am watching her change – grow – right before my very eyes.
I’m linking up with this post as part of my Advent extravaganza on my blog. I want everyone to read these tender words.