Infertility is a cruel friend. It visits every month and leaves you lonely and empty. There's the empty womb, the empty nursery, and the gaping hole in your heart. It holds you captive and taunts you at baby showers and other social gatherings as your friends and family rejoice with each new birth. You hold your smile until you can politely escape, then the tears explode all over your face. It destroyed my already fragile self esteem.
And then when you think all hope is gone, God gives you a miracle. He provides in such a way, you know it's from His hand.
My baby boy was born right before Christmas, and I dare say He was, and is the most precious gift I've ever received at this time of year. The sting of infertility lost its power over me. A little one now filled a nursery planned just for him, and the hole in my heart was filled and overflowing with a love that only a mother can understand.
When Claire, the missionary, placed him in my arms in Guatemala, he smiled at me and his one dimple buckled in his cheek. It was a moment forever etched in this momma's heart. He was seven pounds of true love.
Another baby was born long ago under the sign of the star in Bethlehem. He was the long-awaited Messiah, though no one treated Him as such. God Himself, in the form of a baby, came to set us free from the sting of sin. He was born to fill in the gaping holes of loneliness and emptiness in every human heart and soul. He was born to die so we might live. There is no greater love than this. Not even a mother's love can compare to His perfect love.
I've tried to imagine Mary and her role as His earthly mother, how she must have felt throughout His life. I can't imagine, however, watching my son die for the sins of someone else. But, she did. She was there when He was crucified. A mother's love is fierce and can do what it needs in the face of adversity.
He made provision for her as well by asking the apostle John to look after her, the compassionate son to the end.
As I told Andy in his birthday card, I say the same thing every year. I told him how proud I am of him and how much I love him.
I wonder if Jesus and Mary had their moments, mother and son, when she told Him how proud she was and how much she loved Him. After all, He was God's greatest gift to mankind and she was a witness to His ministry from the beginning.
Mary had no idea that generations and generations of people would celebrate her son's lowly birth. She knew He was special and she was called to a special task, but she would never know the lasting impact of future Christmases because of her journey to Bethlehem. She would never know the gazillions of dollars spent to promote His birth. What would she think?
What is Christmas to you? Do you try to fill it with lights and trees and food and endless shopping? If you do, there will still be a gaping hole in your heart.
The message of Christmas is very simple...
A baby was born who would grow up and die on a tree so we might have the gift of eternal life. He made the ultimate blood sacrifice to have a relationship with a holy God. We celebrate His birth to remind us of the bigger story. Just like my son is not a baby anymore, neither is Jesus. He's alive and He's coming back for us. Our days are numbered. Our calendar, that began with his birth, is moving toward That Day.
"O Come, O Come, Emmanuel"
Don't get caught up in the presents that you miss His Presence.
P.S. My blog post this week is dedicated to Mr. Joe Pinson, who went to be with Jesus on Andy's birthday. He will be celebrating with the King of Kings in person this Christmas. He was one of the most special people I've ever met and I will miss him terribly. He was a faithful reader and encourager of people. But most importantly, a follower of the great I AM.