“And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths…” (Lk 2:7)
We are in the Christmas season. We celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Mary, His young mother, ‘brought forth her first born Son’. Surely, she experienced mixed feelings. She was told that her Son will be a King but there was no room in the inn for them. She had to deliver Him in a stable and lay Him in a manger, the place where animals feed. King Herod wanted her baby dead. But shepherds and wise men bowed before the Baby. Mary had to learn fast, how to take care and protect this baby, God’s gift to humanity. It was not easy… But God was with her, with them…”Oh, come let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord!”
The Nativity story brought back memories to me… This is my story, as a young mother in Romania… As a doctor I delivered many pregnant women. As a pastor, I prayed for women to become mothers. I rejoiced with them when their children were born. They all look so happy… But my case, was different… I still remember the feeling I had when my first child, my dear son was born. I was a student in the medical school. I was a young wife. My husband was from Nigeria, my colleague in the medical school. At that time, I was an unbeliever. I never prayed. I did not see a Bible with my eyes. In the past, I prepared myself mentally and emotionally to be a wife and a doctor. I had great dreams and a clear vision about my future marriage and chosen profession. I read many books about successful marriages and how to practice humanitarian medicine. But I did not prepare myself enough to be a parent. I thought that I should be a mother when I will be older… I thought that I still have time to study ‘the subject’. My husband and I planned to have children after graduation. But God had another plan. Motherhood was bestowed upon me by a God I did not know at the time.
Our first baby was born as a medical emergency before the expected date of delivery. They were complications… I started bleeding heavily… The doctor said that they will first save my life. But the chance for the baby boy to live was 50-50. But the baby made it!!!! Oh, the relief… I looked at him… So beautiful… but fragile too… My first night as a mother, in that hospital bed, I just could not sleep. I suddenly became afraid that I will not be able to be a good mother to this baby. I also knew that our relationship will last for a life time. For better or for worst, that is a long time… I felt the mantle of responsibility falling on my young shoulders. Years passed by… Often, this mantle was light and easy but so heavy other times…
Our baby is a man now. He is a husband and a father. But the mantle of motherhood placed on me by God on the day he was born is still on me. I feel it. Motherhood thought me many lessons of life I could not have learned otherwise.. The truth is that at the beginning I struggled with it. As a single woman I felt free. But now, married and with a baby, I felt the restrictions. For example, I could not go to visit my friends any time I wanted. This responsibility of being a mother, like a covering blanket, stayed on… Knowing what I know now, I say: ‘Thank God’! It was only after I became saved that I truly accepted it without complaining, especially when hard days came by. In a way, I grew up together with my children… This gift of motherhood (and even grand-motherhood), I now enjoy it. Finally! I now walk with it, in the assurance that God, who gave me these children, He is in charge of their lives and mine… We shall walk together, from beginning to the end. Motherhood brought me closer to God! This knowledge makes me so happy! It even gets better day by day!
May this testimony encourage young (and not so young) parents today! Fear not! You are not alone! God loves you and God loves your baby! From the beginning to the end of the journey of life, God is with you! Glory to God!!!