When I reflect upon Advent and the gifts of anticipation, patience, joy and revelation, I immediately think of two times in my life where those gifts were the most present. Neither time was actually at Advent time, but in the early summer months while we were stationed in Germany.
My first born child was due to make her appearance in mid-June. Her father and I anticipated the arrival with joy and trepidation…were we ready? Would the child be healthy? Would we make good parents? What would it be, boy or girl? As Jeff’s June 12th bday and then Father’s Day passed, we decided that this little one didn’t want to share his/her birthday with another holiday….she finally arrived on June 30th. Our questions were answered –it was a girl, yes, she was healthy (thank God) and we thought we made pretty good parents.
Fast forward nearly 4 years, and we were again waiting….anticipating….this time in mid-May. Katie had taught us that babies come when they’re good and ready, but we had schedules to keep this time….Katie and Jeff were due back in the states for a family wedding and needed to fly back in time, but needed to be there until the baby came. We waited, and waited and waited, with some of the same questions….and this time, my patience wore thinner. Well-meaning friends would say, “you haven’t had that baby yet?” or “when is that baby going to make an appearance?” only making my frustration grow larger and my patience grow thinner! Patrick did arrive on June 2nd, and was worth the wait, and frustration..and his sister and father did make it to the wedding on time.
So, how this maternity waiting game of mine applies, is that I often think of Mary when she was awaiting Jesus’s birth….did she have those same questions that we had? Did she wonder if he’d be healthy? Did she wonder if she and Joseph would make good parents? Was there any doubt of what the gender would be, since the angel told her what he’d be called? Did she wonder if she was ready?
Who is ever truly ready for the life changing event of having a child?! But it is an event that is filled with joy…no matter how long they make you wait!