Over two thousand years ago, as Mary waited upon the birth of her precious baby boy, the entire world awaited with her in unaware anticipation of the birth of their Savior. Each Christmas, I stop and try to imagine what must have gone through her mind as the impending birth approached… He was not only her son, but God’s Son in the literal sense, and even though He would have a difficult life, He would also bring her the gift of peace and hope.
His life would bring her peace and hope.His birth brought to us the most precious, priceless gift. My personal gift to you this Christmas pales in comparison, but it is a gift from the heart; a gathering of my words. As your daughter, I want my gift to be a parallel of what Jesus brought His mother that first Christmas… peace, and hope.
Just as I can not begin to comprehend how much Mary’s heart suffered in watching her precious boy grow up under persecution and evil, I can also not begin to comprehend how your heart suffered as you witnessed the destructive force of evil tear away at the fabric of your family.
Mary is no more to blame for the sins of the world than you were to blame for the sins of your husband, my father. God knew Mary was a woman of honor, a woman of faith, a woman strong enough to trust with this most difficult situation… Mary was chosen by God for this, because He knew that in her difficult journey, she would bring honor and glory to Him. Out of every woman on earth at that time, He chose her. Imagine how difficult it would have been for us humans to choose someone for this task? God had no difficulty, He knew her heart.
Do you realize that even over two thousands years ago... yes, even then, even in Mary’s time on earth, God already knew He would choose you as the mother in our family? He knew you were an honorable woman of faith, a woman strong enough to trust with this most difficult situation… a woman who would bring honor and glory to Him even though the challenges would be heartbreaking.
Paul’s journey with Mary’s own Son inspired these words from Romans 5:3-5 “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” I can’t help but wonder if Mary ever had a chance to hear the words that Paul wrote, the words inspired by her Son. Those words have left a deep imprint on the hearts of Christians around the world almost 2000 years later. Those words have left a deep imprint on my heart.
Mary’s Son inspired my life and my words… just as it is Mary’s Son Who inspired Paul’s life and Paul’s words… We do not know if Paul’s words reached Mary, but today, it is my hope that my words will reach you, my mother. I see you the same way I see Mary… a woman chosen by God to fulfill His purpose, a woman He knew would honor Him. A Godly woman whose examples of strength and courage were woven into the tapestry of my life and helped me grow to be the woman I am today. A woman who counteracted evil with love, patience, faith, determination, forgiveness and compassion. A woman whose suffering brought perseverance, character, and hope. A woman whose daughter's suffering also gave life to perseverance, character and hope. A woman who deserves to rest in peace and hope, knowing that God is looking at her life right now and saying “Well done, my good and faithful child, well done.”
Just as Jesus did not look back upon His life and suffering and put any responsibility for this on His mother and just as Jesus was grateful for the way that Mary, His mother, raised Him honorably… I do not look back upon my life and suffering and put any responsibility for the suffering on you.
I am grateful for the way that you, my mother, raised me. I am grateful that God chose you. Even when I was merely a few years old, I sensed that He knew the mother I needed and that He chose the very best. It is my love for you and for God that carried me through the most difficult years. It is my love for you and for God that helped me grab a hold of life and hang on. I have never, ever questioned His gift of YOU. Again inspired by the words of Paul… “I thank My God upon every remembrance of you.” (Phil 1:3)
Please know that I have no regrets, I harbor no resentment… I have peace, love, hope and a grateful heart. My life is much like the life of a flower crushed by circumstances – rather than succumb to the pressures of suffering, the flower lives out the purpose created in her by God, by releasing the pure fragrance of beautiful faith. “What man meant for evil, God used for GOOD.” Gen 50:20
This Christmas, and from this day forward… take this gift of peace and hope, and let it fill your heart to overflowing. Underneath the glorious wrappings of this gift, you will find a hidden, priceless, life-changing treasure beyond measure… healing.
You are loved with a grateful heart,