Another Mother

My tears had started before I turned on the “God Hears Her” podcast episode of “Christ as a Baby.” I was on my way to meet my daughter an hour away to transfer a wagon load of food and a duffel bag full of gifts. For weeks we had been preparing for a visit from four of our children and their families who would be celebrating Christmas and a couple days after with us. Just the day before the arrival of the family from California, my husband who was suffering from a bad head cold decided he should get tested for Covid, which, unfortunately, was positive. All our plans crushed in that one instant. All the shopping I had done, food I had already prepared, decorations I had put up, cleaning I had done, and presents I had bought or were mailed to us anticipating our time together . . . 

Driving and crying, I continued to think of all the time and energy I had expended and all the things we would be missing (me, me, me). (I also realized how more of my concern was about my details and less of my husband’s health. Yikes!) As Elisa and Eryn discussed the humanness of Jesus’ birth, it dawned on me how very alone Mary and Joseph were as they delivered this newborn baby. Well, of course not quite alone with all the angels singing, and it was a while before the shepherds and flocks came to see them, but I can imagine that this young couple just might have wanted their parents there to witness the birth of their first child.  And, for all we know, the first grandchild. I wonder if amidst the joy, there might have been some sadness on Mary‘s part not having her family there to share this special moment. Over the last couple of days, I have been grieving the loss of contact and all the plans we had made with our children and grandchildren. Can you imagine what it would be like to wait years to ever see or hold your grandchild? Or to know if that baby was healthy and safe?  Assuming they reunited at some point, I would love to know the rest of that story even though no mention is made of it in Scripture.

Although I know my disappointment is minor compared to so many other things that could happen, I recognize my need to grieve the loss of connection this week. How much we wanted to hold those grandkids, watch them dive into their stockings and presents, and share meals and conversation with family around the table. Of course, there are always bright spots, once you stop long enough to look for them.  First, I realized that we are so grateful to have children and grandchildren who want to spend time with us and were willing to set aside their plans to spend Christmas with us. Secondly, it was a relief that Allan’s immunity (with two vaccines and a booster) was strong enough to diminish the effects of the coronavirus and that my PCR test was negative. But, of course, the brightest spot that outshines them all is that the Savior born on that day brought us out of darkness into His glorious light and promises to be our peace and our comfort in times of disappointment and loneliness.

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