Friday, December 24, 2010

Thinking of Mary

At this time of year, people often do a lot of thinking about the birth of Jesus, about Mary and Joseph, the manger and shepherds and wise men. And a lot of my fellow-bloggers have been doing their share of blogging about their thoughts at this time of the year as well. 

One of my favourite posts that I have read about Christmas is from the blog of Katy at Bird on the Street. Here, she writes "Mary didn’t plan to give birth to the Savior–as far as I can tell, she didn’t even volunteer. She was drafted. Just like me. I was minding my own business when I got selected by fate to be the parent of a special needs child. There’s no handbook for this and figuring out what to do is often a pile of guesswork."

When I first found out that we were facing medical issues in this pregnancy, one scripture that I could identify with strongly was Luke 2:35. A prophet was prophesying all these wonderful things about Jesus, and then he turns to Mary and says "And a sword will pierce your very soul".

I'm sure that when Mary was chosen to be the mother of Jesus, she probably didn't initially realise just how much her heart would be broken, how much pain she would endure seeing the child she birthed treated unfairly and ultimately being killed for crimes that he did not commit. And like Mary, when I found out a little over a year ago that I was expecting another child, I had no idea just how much my world would be turned upside down while I had to learn to face challenges that we never expected. I was still innocent to the depth of pain and heartache that motherhood could and and would bring me in the coming year.
Becoming a mother makes you so vulnerable. I think that any mother can identify at least in part with Mary in the mixture of joy and sorrow that we endure watching our kids grow up. But being a mother of a child with special needs really makes the highs so much higher and the lows so much lower.

Last Christmas when I was enjoying my beautiful, perfect one year old and I had recently found out that we were expecting another little one, when I thought of the Christmas story, I thought about the joy that a new baby brings - and even more so for the baby Jesus, because His birth held sooooo much promise. He was to be Saviour.

This year, I am so much more aware of the painful side of Jesus' birth, that sword that pierced Mary's soul, the sword of a mother's vulnerability. But still, I rejoice. I rejoice at the birth of our Saviour, and at the birth of my own two precious angels too :) I am truly grateful.

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