My mind and heart turned to prayer. Prayer for those moms who have had days like this, who have heard the news that something isn’t quite right and that their baby may not make it. Prayer for those moms who get news several years down the road that something isn’t quite right, and that their toddler or young child may not make it. Prayer for the moms who have had a knock on the door in the middle of the night with devastating news that something isn’t quite right, and their son or daughter may not make it. My heart was breaking and I was driving, crying, empathizing with these moms and physically feeling only a fraction of the hurt in their hearts.
Then, like Jesus likes to do when I’m lost in thought, He stepped in. I found myself pondering on our mother, Mary. She must have shared these feelings as she knew what would come of her son. Oh how I bet a part of her longed to keep Jesus in her womb, protected from the World that awaited him. How her heart must have broken when Simeon revealed to her that her now infant son would die in the future. How anxiety must have gripped her mind when she couldn’t find her son for 3 days. How her entire being must have ached as she saw her own son crucified before her*. There were no ‘what ifs’ with her - and she still gave her most beautiful “YES” to the will of God. What an example and inspiration!
If we truly believe that ‘God won’t give us more than we can handle’, who are we to doubt what He does for us? Through this prayer on my drive to our ultrasound, my anxiety was lifted and I gave my best “YES” to God and thanked Him for this gift of life inside of me and asked Him to give me the grace to handle whatever His plan is for me and our family.
Our ultrasound showed a perfectly healthy growing baby, thanks be to God, but my prayer and the meditation on Mary still lingers with me throughout this Advent season. With all that she knew about her own child’s life that was to come, she was still able to say yes to God’s will - even though it may not have been her will*.
How many times throughout the day do I say no to God’s will because it seems like it would make my life harder? (No, I’m not going to be patient with the kids, if I yell they will get the point and obey…)
How many times do I say no to God’s will because it would cause me suffering in some way? (No, I’m not going to give that much to the collection this week because I have gifts to buy…)
Do I truly believe that God’s will is what is perfect and right for my life? If no, then I have some serious questions to talk to my spiritual adviser or a priest about. If yes, then why do I make an intentional effort to skirt around it or ignore it?
I posed these questions to a priest one time when I was talking with him in Confession to which he chuckled and said, “This is our life long battle dear sister in Christ, but He asks us to keep trying. Keep striving for Him. Never give up trying and watch your love for him bloom.”
So as we enter into this Advent season, keep Mary close to your heart. Ask her to show you how to say “YES” to God’s will throughout your day. Ask her to soften your heart, heal your hurts, and take your broken heart and soul to the Divine Physician, her son, Jesus. Spend time with her in prayer as we joyfully anticipate God’s will fulfilled, let her hold you and comfort you as only a mother can. Then celebrate with her as God’s will comes to life on Christmas morning. Happy Advent!
*Here’s a surprise; I am not a theologian. These ‘feelings’ that I assume Mary could have felt, are my own thoughts – not Church doctrine or teaching in any way. When in prayer and meditation, I feel closer to her when I put myself in her shoes… although I am well aware that I am far from sinless as she was. And maybe because she was sinless, God’s will WAS her will too. But again, when I try to put myself in her position, of course I believe that God’s will is good and better, but a part of me still doesn’t want to suffer or see my own child suffer – that’s why she’s the Virgin Mary and I am not.