The Christmas season.
A young girl. A handpicked maiden. A virgin.
She nurtured within her a sacred promise.
Mary carried dreams deep within her heart. The waiting had begun.
Not everyone understood. People whispered with side glances and shaking of heads.
The angel greeted her. Startled her more like it. The Presence of God was near. Near to her…her beauty radiated from the inside out.
She was about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. This journey was about to change her forever. She would always be known as Mary, the mother of Jesus.
One chosen by God to fulfill a most sacred of tasks. To carry this most precious Seed.
One who had never been touched by a man, much less slept with one. She was going to mother the ‘Son of the Highest’. She was going to birth a son.
She was going to be Mary, the mother of God.
Her reply, “I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say.” (The Message)
And, then the waiting. She waited just as we do. Nine months.
But before all that, she had a lot of explaining to do.
Can you imagine? Put yourself there.
Joseph was not so sure. This was NOT how things were supposed to go. The disappointment and shock were palpable. Honorable Jewish men did not marry pregnant Jewish women. It just was not done.
So, in the waiting, there was difficulty.
There was the typical pregnancy adjustments and pains and challenges. She knew the promise spoken to her by the angel in the secret place. She knew this gift she carried would be called Holy. Son of God.
Such beauty in the hidden promise spoken to this young heart. I imagine this promise was something so sacred and beautiful, guarded lovingly within her heart and held tenderly throughout the years.
Oh, the beauty of it.
In her final days of waiting, Mary and her Beloved set out and traveled many miles where she gave birth. In a barn. A filthy, noisy, smelly barn. There was no gentle midwife with soothing words and no sweet post-birth photo shoot with sweet smelling blankets and adoring faces. No, these parents were sharing a space with manure and hay and animals. No family or support system. Just two young kids. In a borrowed barn.
Waiting on the fulfillment of a promise. And bringing in the Son of God. A dirty barn and the Most High.
And such is life. Full of waiting.
We have promises spoken to us in the secret place. Given to us when the least was expected. We grabbed hold. We took it and planted it deep into our heart. We believed it. And then perhaps the mess came. Maybe a lot of mess came. Too much mess.
“Let it be with me just as you say.”
Just like Mary, I have said it. Obviously, I’m not carrying around the Savior of the world. But, I am carrying around other dreams. Dreams significant to my world. The world God has placed me in.
A different seed. A different gift. Spoken into my heart. Spoken into my life. And life happens and stuff seems to interrupt. My expectations are not fulfilled.
My timeline is off.
And, so the waiting continues. And the waiting is not easy. Nor are the stretch marks beautiful or the delayed gratification satisfying. But, in the waiting I am growing. In the waiting I am stretching. In the waiting I listen.
Part of the waiting is sitting quietly. Waiting is hard work. At least that is the best I can make of it.
Much was bombarding my heart and mind. So, I took a break from Sweet Sage Lane. I wasn’t sure what might come out on the page. I wasn’t sure it would be beneficial to much of anybody.
And sometimes parts of our waiting seasons require silence and stillness. To be fully transparent, a couple months ago I struggled with depression and anxiety at new levels I hadn’t experienced in quite some time. Not everyone understands that journey. But, I am doing much better and God used many sources to bring light and hope back into my heart and mind.
Yesterday, and then again today, I was reminded once again the importance of making the most of the season I am in.
At the appointed times, Mary did the things she needed to do. She ministered to Elizabeth and travelled to take care of family business. And, sometimes our seasons require movement. Waiting requires preparing for the appointed times to come. Because, the appointed moments will arrive.
Waiting is hard work.
So, once again in this beautiful holiday season, I am reminded of Mary.
The Lady in Waiting.
The one who prepared for the Son of God to be born. The one with an open heart. The one without an agenda of her own. The one willing to open her life to an adventure of unknown proportions.
At the appointed times, Mary did the things she needed to do during her waiting.
So, as was with Mary I say, “Let it be with me just as you say.”
In the waiting I anticipate the fullness of beauty and wonder.
This advent season is a hope-filled reminder of promises kept and wonders foretold. My heart opens with full expectation and renewed anticipation.
In this, my heart is stirred and comforted with a long awaited and much needed peace.