December 10, 2010

Christmas in the Middle

Ann wrote of being pregnant with Christmas, of being stretched to the limit by God.  I nod as I read.  Today, I understand.

Today feels like I am stretched further than I've been since we started on this journey. I imagine Mary great with child and riding on a donkey, its every move jarring her teeth and sending shockwaves of pain up her back. The end is near.  Soon her son will arrive. The pain of being mother to the Savior, unknown to her. She can only think of bringing forth the child, giving her body relief.  Joseph feels it, too. They are weary.

I am weary.

Just a few hours away from the end of my man's first semester back in college. I am so full with the expectation of it that I could burst. We don't know what next semester will bring, but today I am ready to put these hard months behind us.  To take a break.  To be a normal family again, if only for a few weeks.

Sometimes the path God puts us on isn't easy. I've learned that over and over again these past 13 months. Mary and Joseph had a difficult and long journey to Bethlehem. It didn't seem logical. Could Joseph have claimed extenuating circumstances, pleaded to stay at home until the baby was born? Yet they went in obedience, on a journey that took who knows how long. Bethlehem must have been a welcome sight.

I tell myself that we, too, are giving birth. Not to a child, but to a new life. Like Mary, I am eager to leave the road and settle in. This last day, these last exams, will soon be behind us. I look at how far we've come since last Christmas. I dream of next Christmas, when, Lord willing, my man will be graduating. Yet we are here, at this Christmas in the middle. It's not comfortable, but even though I am worn with exhaustion, I wouldn't chose to be anywhere but here.


mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Beautiful post, Melissa.

I'm reminded of some words God spoke to me during an Advent retreat several years ago. While reading the annunciation story from Luke, the part about Mary being engaged to Joseph struck me. I felt like God was telling me:

I can (and will) interrupt your plans (your self-made plans) to birth life in you.

Sounds like some new life is being birthed in your family these days, this season.


Lisa writes... said...

Behold, He makes all things new! Rest in the strength He provides as you wait on Him...

Merry Christmas, friend!

Sheree said...

I hope those days of weariness are outweighed by more energy! I hate that feeling of 'just keep going' and at the same time, 'is there an end in sight?'

Hope your break comes sooner than later!

Have a good Christmas!