So much has changed since last year. I needed some fresh perspective considering part of me didn’t really want to do this whole Christmas thing at all. Not really feeling up to it on some days.
But then I remembered that, well, Mary was not really feeling up to the whole “give birth in a stable” thing much either. She really, really wanted a room at that inn, y’all. Of that I am sure. Just like I really, really wanted to be holding our newborn baby in my arms this Christmas. But not everything goes as we had hoped or planned.
And a dear wise woman I know has this “mantra”: There is what you plan, and then there is what happens. And it is in what happens that we find God.
Isn’t that what happened to Mary? She was planning on marrying her betrothed, Joseph. She was planning on having her first child within wedlock. She was planning on being able to raise a ‘normal’ child who you know, wasn’t God. And we all know what actually happened.
She found God. In what happened. Not in what she planned. If she had said no to the angel Gabriel – as we can all envision ourselves doing – “Um, no thank you, that doesn’t really fit within my 5 year plan!” she wouldn’t have found God in her womb, in her arms, in her home. But she said yes.
Thank God she said yes.
So, it is with me. With a humble, breaking heart that I say yes to our Lord. I say yes to what has happened and what will happen and I will let my plans go. In these chilly dark days of Advent I feel so close to Mary – she knows the intense pain of a mother’s heart whose hopes and plans for her family are not met. She knows me. She walks with me. On my own journey to Bethlehem.
And she wants me to find God this Christmas. In my heart and in my home.