Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Another Woman to Walk Alongside Her

When I walked up, they were praying the second decade of the Joyful Mysteries, The Visitation, when the Blessed Virgin Mary filled with grace goes and helps her elderly relative Elizabeth, who is also pregnant.  My mom informed me that when they’d begun the decade she had prayed that each woman who is faced with an unexpected pregnancy would have another woman come alongside her on the journey.  She said it was fitting that I’d shown up when I did, as the role of companion and moral support is one I’ve been playing for a first-time mother facing an unplanned pregnancy over the past several months. 
A friend who knows I’m involved in 40 Days for Life asked if he could give my contact info to his brother’s girlfriend’s best friend who was pregnant.  I said that would be fine and since last spring have been in touch with this mother who is due this month.  My mom, husband, and I are throwing her a baby shower this weekend so she can meet the many people here who have been praying for and supporting her from out-of-town.  
I’m not sure why God led her to me, someone who has lots of experience with children of all ages, but who doesn’t have any children herself and who doesn’t know as much about pre-natal care as lots of others.  My sister Mary works with mothers and babies and is much more qualified in this area than I am.  Mary did give me some good advice to pass along, as well as some important resources, but this is not my area of expertise.

The mother’s courage and faith in facing the unknown have inspired me quite a bit.  Without any family in the country, after having lost her job, and about to go into her senior year of college, she found out she’d become pregnant.           

God has always had an interesting sense of timing.  He saw fit to have the Holy Spirit overshadow a virgin by the name of Mary who was betrothed but not yet living with Joseph so as to make her the Mother of the Savior of the World.  Not only that, but He also granted the gift of fertility to Elizabeth and Zechariah in their old age when they had long since believed they would live in the shame of remaining barren in a culture where being childless was frowned upon for many reasons. 
John the Baptist, who’s conception is quite a surprise, will serve as a prophet to announce the coming of another holy child, Jesus Christ, who God knew from the beginning of time, but whose parents were also a bit astonished by the timing and circumstances of His conception.
Both mothers faced pregnancies that were certainly unexpected.  They didn’t understand how or why they had been blessed with a baby in the womb when such a miracle seemed impossible for either one of them, their present circumstances taken into account.  Joseph and Zechariah were a bit confused, but God put them in their places. 
What a blessing of camaraderie for these two first-time mothers to rejoice together and spend time in each other’s company, ministering to one another. 

I don’t imagine it would have been very easy for Mary to stick around her hometown when she was first found with child, and I have a feeling the local mom’s group might not have welcomed Elizabeth into the fray after shunning her for so many years.  The Lord saw fit to bring these two women together in order to glorify Him and comfort each other.

Lord, in Your infinite wisdom and perfect plan for our lives, guide us to accept Your timing and Your will regardless of the circumstances.  Please open our hearts and our eyes to those around us who could use a friend to walk alongside them on the journey.  Amen.
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