Blessed Among Women
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:39-45
I have always admired Mary, the mother of Jesus. Partly because I can relate to her so well and partly because she had such an awesome job given to her to be the mother of the Messiah. Can you even imagine what it was like for her? A peasant girl, barely a teen herself, and yet called by God to raise His Son: I doubt she knew anything at all about being a mother, let alone the Mother of the King of Kings, the long awaited Messiah. What made God favor her? Was she so different than anyone else? Did she exhibit some dynamic ability to be a mother through the play with her dolls? Was she the obedient child for her parents? Or was it perhaps that God saw her heart of hearts and knew she would be obedient and committed, consistent yet moldable, lovable and tender, firm yet gentle, not afraid to be a parent first and a friend later.
I guess I can relate so well to Mary because, for some reason, God saw fit to call me to be a mother to many of His children. When I was a child growing up, I always dreamed of what it would be like to be a mother and have children that I could adore and that would love me in return. Not having a mother's love myself, I had determined early in life that if I ever had the privilege of being a parent, I would adore my children and let them know with everything in me how much I loved and cared for them; that my love would be unconditional no matter what they might say or do. Before my husband and I were married, we would talk for hours about the children we would have... many children... a big family. Little did I know what was in store for us or what God's big picture was for us.
After we were married, we lost our first child due to a miscarriage, and then we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. We proceeded to try for a second child and immediately began to have difficulties with my pregnancy. Our son was born early and due to complications-almost lost him and me. A year later, I became ill, and the final outcome was surgery that would never allow me to accomplish my dream of a big family. Notice, I said my dream, not God's dream. I became depressed and felt I had been cheated. Oh, I loved my two children dearly but I felt this emptiness, a longing that I couldn't quite fulfill. I had always struggled with low self-esteem, partly due to abuse I had suffered in the foster homes I had lived in, but also because I am such a perfectionist. I became my own worst critic. God began to lay it on our hearts to adopt. and we began the process through the State of California for this perfect Caucasian child that came from a college background and had all the pedigree needed for a great child. After all, I didn't want a child like myself that had so many ugly flaws. The State of California turned down our application and said they didn't have any perfect children, but that if we were willing to take in a flawed one, perhaps they could work with us. God directed us to a Christian agency in Whittier, California. We applied with them. Only this time with a totally different attitude; an obedient attitude of what God may have in store for us. The agency had always talked about us taking an older child but my heart's desire was for a baby. But, God knew that I would be obedient no matter what He brought. We had completed our paperwork and had begun the long process of waiting and waiting for that call to come. My friend had just had a baby boy and we had gone to the hospital to visit her and her baby. As we walked by the nursery window, there was a little baby girl in the window with lots of black hair and I just had to stop and stare. She was so beautiful! I silently prayed, "God you know my heart’s desire is for a baby just like this one, but you know I will be obedient and will love whoever you bring our way." Two weeks later that long awaited phone call came. The voice on the other end said, " Are you sitting down?" I asked, "Should I be?" The voice said, “Perhaps you need to. We have a three week old baby girl we would like to place in your home." I couldn't believe my ears.
I will never forget the scene the day we went to pick up Katie, our first gift from God. We walked into this little nursery and lying in the crib was a baby just like the one I had seen in the window a couple of weeks earlier. A beautiful baby girl with lots of black hair. When she was placed in my arms for the first time, I realized just how much God really did love me... how very special I was in His eyes... and what an awesome responsibility God had given to me; to raise a child I had not brought into this world, yet He was saying to me, "Here, take her, raise her for Me. I trust you to raise My child that I am placing in your care."
I think at that moment I knew just how Mary must have felt when she was called of God to be the mother of Jesus.
That was just the beginning for us. God continued to bring eleven other children to adopt and twenty-seven to foster over the years. What an awesome privilege I have had to be entrusted with His children to raise for Him. It is a privilege that I have never taken lightly.
For you moms that are reading this ... you too are blessed among women ... you, too, have an awesome responsibility to raise those precious gifts that He has entrusted into your care to raise for Him. Don't be afraid to parent your child... to raise them in the admonition of the Lord. Some day we all will stand before God and we will all have to give an account as to how we raised that child or children that He entrusted into our care. I want to hear the words, 'Well done my good and faithful servant!" How about you?