As I listened to a beautiful duet of “Mary Did You Know” at church this morning, those are the words that ran through my mind.
I can’t imagine raising Jesus.
Usually I think of what a privilege Mary was given. Chosen by God to raise His only Son! But this year, I thought, man, what a colossal responsibility!
You see, this year, I have an infant and toddler. And this year, I am struggling with postpartum anxiety, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder after an epidural and spinal headache ordeal from when my baby was born.
This year, I am experiencing all the usual highs and lows of motherhood. But sometimes, my mind can’t seem to escape the lows. I often feel crushed by the awesome responsibility of raising kids. Of keeping them fed and clean. And safe. Of teaching them how to behave. Of navigating screaming fits and temper tantrums. Worrying about the type of people they will become. Desperately wanting to make sure I fulfill my responsibilities to raise children who grow up to know the Lord.
Afraid. So afraid that something might happen to them on my watch. So frustrated at myself when I lose my patience with them. So afraid of failing at the most important job I’ve ever been entrusted with. And weary. So tired.
The worst is the isolation. Despite my amazing husband and supportive family, I often feel so very alone. A lie whispers that it’s all up to me.
Did Mary feel any of these things, too? If so, I’d imagine her fears were magnified. I mean, God didn’t just entrust her with a baby. He entrusted her with His Son. The One who was going to save the entire world. The Messiah.
No pressure, Mary.
We don’t know for sure what Mary felt or thought throughout her journey of raising Jesus. But I hope Mary always remembered what I often forget.
That God doesn’t entrust without equipping. That He knows we are but dust. That His grace is greater than our failures. That His strength is more than enough to do His important work. That His mercy is more. That we can cast all our cares on Him because He cares for us.
I hope she remembered that it wasn’t her job to protect her Son from all of the evil in the world. I hope she didn’t take on the burden of trying to do what only God can do.
And I hope she remembered that because of the baby that she bore that first Christmas night, she is never alone.
After all, He was called “Emmanuel”. God with us.
My Christmas prayer is that when I begin to feel overwhelmed by the weight of the responsibility of raising babies, that I would remember the privilege of motherhood. That I was entrusted with gifts from God. Chosen by Him to be their Mama.
And because He’s entrusted, He’s also daily equipping me for my task. Day by day. Step by step.
His grace is sufficient. His mercy is more. His love covers my failures. He can carry my burdens for me. His strength is found in my weakness.
But most of all, I pray that I’d feel His presence as I walk through motherhood. Right beside me. Never alone.
God didn’t tell Mary to bear His Son and then abandon her. He didn’t make her raise Jesus all on her own.
He hasn’t abandoned me, either. And despite how I may feel sometimes, I am not raising my babies alone!
God. With. Me.
He’s with you, too.