I’m not sure what type of emotions Christmas evokes in you; perhaps when you see lights strung across roof tops, joy wells up deep inside as you get this overwhelming sense that the kind of people who go all-out with Christmas lights are the people in life who get it. Or, perhaps you feel a certain void and hollowness around this time of year. For me, this Christmas feels a bit different than all the ones before. Last Christmas was my husband’s and my first Christmas together. We dated, got engaged, and got married all in less than a year. It’s strange to look back on now, but at the time, I didn’t realize that my last Christmas at home with my parents would be the last.
This year, my husband and I are anticipating the arrival of our first earth-side child. Once life grows inside of you, you view things differently. My heart views that last Christmas at home in a new way, with a sense of loss not only for myself, but my own mom as well. A few months back and earlier on in my pregnancy, I thought about how amazing it would be to be expecting at Christmas. I couldn’t help but think about Mary and all the things that she must’ve been experiencing as she balanced the emotions of not only becoming a new mom, but mothering God Himself. Not only the potential “what-if’s” that motherhood would bring, but the assurance that raising the Son of God meant raising Him up and loving Him until the moment He was born for – the cross. And amidst the fear, joy, and every other thing welling up deep inside, I wonder if Mary had to consciously make the choice to focus on the moment she was in. Perhaps, maybe, that’s how she dealt with the reality she knew for certain she would one day face. For her, saying “yes” to the call of God meant saying yes to watching the unfathomable suffering, pain, and death of her baby boy. The real meaning behind Christmas…God with us to make a way for God to be with us.
There’s no way to know for sure what Mary was thinking in those moments, any assumption would be pure speculation. But this is what we do know – in between the shepherds coming and officially naming her babe, Jesus, “Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19) That verse has always stood out to me. This Christmas season and always, I want to treasure up all the goodness of God, all the ways He’s been faithful, all the ways I see His glory and promises fulfilled, and I want to store it up in my heart. I want to ponder it. I want it to change me and flow out of me and make all the things that could happen or that have happened pale in comparison to Who He is. Despite the difficulty of anything God has called us to walk through, may all the void and broken places in our hearts be filled with the pondering of the miracle of Christ this Christmas. The miracle of God with us, hope eternally secure.