No experience has the power to stir a woman’s hopes like that of becoming a mother. She may enter through adoption, infertility, or traditional pregnancy, but a mother learns to sacrifice her expectations for the gift of raising a child. Every journey is unique, but every heart is expectant.
Mary’s betrothal was still fresh when her expectations dissolved in the light of the angel’s arrival. To be old enough for betrothal meant being mature enough to bear a child. Before Mary even had time to adjust to changes in her own body or warm up to the name Joseph, everything she anticipated fell away. There would be no joyous gathering of girlhood friends, envious of her new status. None of the other girls wanted to swell with a child before uniting with a husband.
At the first sign of a change, Mary was troubled and frightened. She had questions. Before she had time to learn the physical ways of womanhood or enjoy intimacy with a man, her body would be taken over for purposes bigger than she could conceive. “And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.’” (Luke 1:30 ESV)
Most of us have plans for this Christmas season. No one anticipates interruptions like job loss or a life lost. Unexpected events never appear on our wish list. Advent readings rarely dwell on our suffering.
But when our expectations are erased and our decisions dissolve, God has the opportunity to display His grander plan. He takes our hand, leading us to unwelcoming inns, simple stable accommodations, and to exile in our Egypts. Our Father lets us glimpse the greater glory found when life encircles the Prince of Peace.
Motherhood causes our expectations to fall away. Instead of being paralyzed by the sudden uncertainty motherhood brings, confidence can be found in knowing, “There will never be a time when our children are out of God’s sight or apart from His presence,” (from Calling the Shots in my book EXPECTANT for new and expectant moms).
From the moment young Mary received her angelic message, nothing unfolded as she imagined, but she found the greater glory in God’s greater plan. “But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19 ESV)
This is a good time of year for a woman to hold loosely to her expectations, for Christmas will probably not be according to plan. Let’s look for God’s greater glory with hearts that are expectant.
~Father God, I want to experience the glory of being part of Your story. This Christmas season, help me to hold my expectations loosely and welcome your better plans for me. Amen!~
Julie lives where tea is sweet and grits are cheesy. She and her husband of 25 years have two nearly grown kids. EXPECTANT: 40 Devotions for New and Expectant Moms was born when God brought a group of young couples into their lives, just as they began to long to grow their families.
Julie loves to teach God’s word to women in her hometown and across the globe; she is passionate about fighting human trafficking and helping women of all tribes and tongues find God’s peace for life.
You can find Julie:
*on her blog Come Have a Peace (www.juliesanders.org) and Marriage Mondays (Monday blogs) to find reasons for peace and information about her ministry.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ComeHaveaPeace with One Minute4MOM