My daughter is obsessed with Jesus. Christmas is her favorite time of year because there are baby Jesus miniatures in all shapes and sizes around the house that she can stick in her pocket to take to the grocery store.
She also likes to stick stuffed animals under her shirt and then wait until we are in line at the grocery store when she pulls the animal out, holds it in the air and yells, “And God said, ‘Jesus is born!’” I’m always grateful for the people in line who realize she is not being totally sacrilegious, but is just seriously obsessed with the Nativity story.
I, too, love to think about the baby Jesus at this time of year. So sweet and small and full of potential to one day do amazing things. But this year, I have found myself thinking more about Mary – scared, tired and carrying the heavy weight on her shoulders of giving birth to the Savior. No doubt she feared Joseph (and others) would not understand and would abandon her. She probably spent many nights alone and frightened about how she would accomplish such an impossible task.
And then, on the night of her delivery, she rides on a donkey and gives birth in a stable. Wise men and shepherds followed the star after His birth, but they were not there during the difficult physical and mental moments. She and Joseph were alone bringing the Savior into the world.
I am probably thinking more about Mary this year because we are hoping to adopt and I have been praying for a mother I don’t know who may also be alone and scared and worried about bringing her child into this world. I pray that she will be comforted and strengthened by angels, and guided to a loving family if she chooses adoption.
As I think of these mothers, I think again of Mary. She was physically alone for much of her ordeal, but she was never truly alone. Heavenly Father was with her every step of the way.
And He is with all soon-to-be mothers who are scared or worried for the little lives growing inside them. He is aware of these women just as he was aware of Mary. Just as he guided Mary’s footsteps and strengthened her in her darkest hours, he will help them and buoy them up when their own strength just isn’t enough. Yes, heavenly Father loves those little babies, but he also loves their mothers because they are his daughters, too.
If you are one of these mothers this Christmas, I wish you many things, but above everything, I wish you peace—a deep peace that only comes from knowing Heavenly Father loves you and will guide you. No matter how alone you feel, He stands beside you in those dark moments. Reach out your hand and He will lift you to your feet.