December 14th by Rebecca Bealmear
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.”
This is one of many moments in scripture which lifts up good and faithful women who endure infertility and who are blessed by God with a child. These are also parent-child relationships of importance to our faith, its foundations, and God’s plans for us.
Elizabeth was pregnant with John after a long period of infertility. I immediately recall Hannah in 1 Samuel, who prayed for Samuel, or of my journey through infertility, which lasted six years (2008 to 2015). Hannah and Elizabeth never wavered in their faithfulness to God, and in retrospect, I can see that immersing myself in volunteering at First Pres increased my own faith and sense of purpose during my struggles.
God gave Hannah and Elizabeth sons. God gave Mary a son for her faithfulness, and He gave me a son, too – and two daughters! I joined this incredible club of Mothers, and work to raise good and faithful human beings, as Hannah, Elizabeth, and Mary did.
Do you know what I’m realizing? This time with our children is brief. This job is enormous. I am a good, imperfect (and loved!) human trying to raise good, imperfect (and loved!) humans. Hannah only raised Samuel for a few years; Elizabeth and Mary only had a few decades with their children on Earth. I pray to have my children for the rest of my life, and that I am instilling in them faith, empathy, kindness, and love that they will know and share with others. Only time will tell.
The season of Advent is also brief, and we must prepare, and wait, to receive the results of our faith and works. However, we know what is to come at the end of our believing and loving and working and waiting. What a gift we shall receive when He is born! I pray for you the blessings of the season, for gratefulness for all of God’s gifts, and, now more than ever, for peace on Earth.