This was the passage that was read this past Sunday at our church for the lighting of the 3rd Advent candle:
"And Mary said, 'My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.'" (Luke 1:46-49).
Today we remember Mary, innocent and powerful, sacred and scared, worried and waiting as the Savior of all grows in her womb. She sings boldly when she might be meek; she bears her role in history with the confidence of a warrior; she is the beginning of a mighty revolution as the proud are brought down and the lowly lifted up.
Today we give thanks for the Marys among us, who step out of the roles society has planned; unintended pioneers determined to do as God asks; fearless and fearfully stepping out in faith, and beckoning us to do the same.
On this third Sunday of Advent, we light this candle as a symbol of Mary, mother of God, bearer of the Way.
As we read along with this passage in church, it really hit me. Mary was so much like I was when pregnant with Claire. Don't get me wrong - I am NOT saying I am anything comparable to Mary, Jesus' mother! But Mary was given a task and a path by God that she had not planned. She was scared and meek, yet she "stepped out" of the role society had planned for her and graciously accepted the plan God had for her. She stepped out in her faith and trusted God. Imagine the fear Mary felt when God chose her, a young teenager, to take on the task of being Jesus' mother. Back then there was no Internet or blogs where you could easily Google what was going on with you or your child to read about it or find support from other mothers who have travelled this journey. Imagine that feeling of being alone. I can't imagine.
I believe that as mothers, we all may feel that way somewhat. But as a mother of a premature child that was born with heart defects and liver disease, it hits home a little more. I am not the first mother to be scared. To worry about God's plan for my family and our unborn child. I am not the first mother who probably always thought she would have healthy children with no worries to find out just the opposite. I am not the first mother to "sing boldly when I might be meek" or to "bear my role with the confidence of a warrior" when dealing with the extreme fears we dealt with for Claire.
I am an "unintended pioneer determined to do as God asks." UNINTENDED. Well, maybe unintended on my behalf but I believe God intends for certain things to happen to certain people. I have "fearfully stepped out in faith" and have beckoned others to do the same. I have asked, begged, and pleaded for prayers for Claire. I have heard stories from so many people of how her life has strengthened their faith in God as they watched miracles unfold. I believe all of you other preemie moms, heart moms, liver moms, congenital diaphragmatic hernia moms, intrauterine growth restriction moms, etc. know how Mary felt. And we should learn from her and how she fearlessly and fearfully trusted in her God, stepping out in her faith, knowing He had a bigger plan for her life than she could have ever dreamed.
So Mary was the first of us moms that was dealt a hand with her child that could not be explained. She may have been the first, but definitely not the last. There are many moms who have been given a different path than expected and there are many more to come. But if we know and trust God and his plan for us and our children, we should all be ok.
Although Mary was innocent, scared, worried, waiting, meek, and fearful, she was also powerful, sacred, bold, fearless, and a warrior. She stepped out of her comfort zone and the role that society had planned for her to embrace a much bigger role. One that God had created just for her. So on the days that I sit and wonder "why us?" or "why Claire?" I can now relate to Mary and know that God's plan is much better than any plan we ever thought of. I feel fortunate that God has created a special path for our family - one that I never even dreamed of - that includes such a special sweet baby girl. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
The Scott Family
PS - Just so you know (in case something doesn't make sense), I do not proofread my posts. And usually, I just type as the words come into my head. So if something doesn't make complete sense, I apologize. Sometimes my emotions get the best of my ideas, or my mind works a lot faster than my fingers can type. :)