I made the follow-up phone call with so many thoughts running through my head, and by the time I put the receiver back down, my mind was blank, washed clear in a rising sea of tears and uncertainty. The only other time I had felt so lost, so frozen with no idea where to start, was nine years prior in the arms of my father down the hall from my mother’s hospital room. There I was, 20 years old, hours away from the last exam of my second year of university, pregnant, unwed, and with a sack full of baggage.
There was a moment during my wedding reception when my heart leapt up to my throat to avoid drowning in humiliation. I held my breath as my new father-in-law began alluding to the elephant in the room. For the entire day, nobody actually mentioned the obviously-impending arrival of our first daughter four months to the day, but I hadn’t gained full perspective yet, and felt my transgressions exposed for all to see and judge. I would spend years fighting the urge to prove the legitimacy of our family and my motherhood; that we were just living the early pages of a fabulous success story. Today, sixteen years later, I know it to be true. We are ever a work-in-progress but we have been honed into a pretty great family and I enjoy that peace that my younger self begged for in the days when those later chapters of the story weren’t believable to anyone, including her.
Many, many years before this day, an even younger lady found herself pregnant and unwed. If it was controversial in 1997, can we even imagine what social predicament she and her fiancé were in? How could anybody believe her when she said she was still a virgin? That she was carrying the ever-awaited Messiah? That this infant, born without fanfare in a barn and sleeping in a trough (some artists have depicted Him resting on the floor), is the divine son of the Most High God? That this baby would grow into a man who would rock the status quo, heal the sick and raise the dead? That she was part of the turning point where a loving and merciful God sends His own child be sacrificed in reconciliation with the whole world?
Most of them didn’t. But she was. And He was. And He did.
Perhaps you are in a dark corner of your life where all bets are against you. Where you cannot make out any twinkle of light ahead. A sudden curve ball has shattered what you imagined your future would be. You feel barren, abandoned. You are lost in the wilderness, accompanied only by pain or bitterness or frustration or loneliness or betrayal. Or blankness. Let me tell you something. When you feel like you have suffered through four hundred years of deafening silence, a light will break through. It will not come when you expect it, or look like you expect it to. But it’s there – He is there – awaiting that perfect time for you, according to a victorious plan for your life that you could not even wrap your head around if you knew it.
This is what the Lord says:
“At just the right time, I will respond to you.
I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out in freedom,’
and to those in darkness, ‘Come into the light.’
They will neither hunger nor thirst.
The searing sun will not reach them anymore.
For the Lord in his mercy will lead them;
he will lead them beside cool waters.
And I will make my mountains into level paths for them.
The highways will be raised above the valleys.
I will fight those who fight you,
and I will save your children.
All the world will know that I, the Lord,.
am your Savior and your Redeemer,
the Mighty One of Israel.
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared for those who love him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9
Happy Christmas to you=)