Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A Christmas Story

An Unwed Mother

I often find myself thinking of Mary and the shame she must have felt having been pregnant out of wedlock in a culture that could have demanded her life for such a terrible mistake. As modern day people, those of us who know the Bible know she had a visit from an angel and that she was a willing vessel that was incredibly used by God. However, have you ever stopped to think of her humanness? She was a young maiden, engaged to Joseph, the carpenter. Suddenly she found herself in a compromising situation. She was with child. She had no husband. Have you ever stopped to wonder how her family reacted? The Bible does not give us detail of the back-story, but when I allow my mind to wander, I have to believe they were devastated with such humiliating news. Yet Mary did not despair. She persevered and through her willingness, she became part of the greatest story ever told. She did not crumble under the weight of such an enormous and stressful situation. She humbly accepted God’s will and she was used to bring the world a Savior. One of my favorite Christmas songs speaks of her and asked the question…did you know? In thinking of my own life as a mother, I would have to say no that as a young girl, she had no idea how Jesus’ life would play out. She only knew that God had called her to carry a baby boy and that He was going to become royalty as God’s Son.

A teenage girl had just gotten the news…the pregnancy was confirmed. Life as she had once known it was over. There would be no more carefree high school days for this girl with friends and football games and Friday night pizza outings after the game. She was a good student and a girl who had always tried to do the right thing. She was a bit stubborn and strong-willed, but she never pushed so far past the limits to get herself into big trouble. And, yet, here she was…sixteen years old and pregnant. For two weeks, she cried day and night and could not even go to school because of the fear she felt inside. She felt shame and humility and she wondered how she could ever pick up the pieces of life and go on. The family doctor suggested an abortion and while it had been a consideration at first, she knew that the little life growing inside of her would not be eliminated. She would have her baby and she would figure out what to do next. Her parents were supportive of her and allowed her to make her own decisions of how to handle the situation. Her boyfriend also was supportive of her. In fact, after a couple of weeks of discussion, they had made the decision together of what to do next. They would get married and provide their baby a home with two parents. The scared teenage girl of this story is the author of this blog. For thirty-five years, I have had the privilege of being mom to the baby of this story. In the middle of despair and fear, God brought peace and direction and gave me the most beautiful gift, a wonderful baby boy to love.

 An Unexpected Connection

One Sunday, years after my son was born, I was in a church service and I heard the most astounding message. The pastor’s message was on Jesus’ birth, a story all Christians know and love, but he made a statement that was profound to me. In his sermon, he mentioned that Mary was an unwed mother. This fact should have been evident since she and Joseph were not married when the angel visited her and gave her the news, but up until this point in time, I had never considered Mary’s position. Mary and I had a connection. We had both been teenage mothers who were with child out of wedlock. God had ordained Mary’s pregnancy. However, I am sure she still felt a sense of social awkwardness among family and friends. While Mary’s situation was not quite the same as mine, having the revelation that she too was an unwed mother gave me a new understanding of who God is. It amazes me when I consider that I have never done anything that surprised or shocked Him and that He is always there to forgive me of any sin I ever commit, if I am willing to ask sincerely. What an awesome God I serve! His love never ends and it never fails!

Each life is different. Every journey is unique. God uses all the situations in life to grow us.

How has He used you? How has He revealed His unfailing love to you? We’d love for you to share.

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