These past couple of weeks, Facebook has put some pictures of me, Les and the grandkids on my timeline. Memories, they call it. One was the year before the cancer diagnosis. The other just a couple months after. Those were our last two Christmases together. It is unbelievable, but this is my 7th Christmas as a widow. I still think of Les often, but I no longer grieve. Now I focus on the reunion we will one day have and that brings me much joy.
As you know, my life’s passion is to reach out to other widows and attempt to make their journey a bit easier. That means there is almost a constant “newbie” in my life. In fact, I just now received a text from a friend with whom I left a message earlier today. She said she cried all the way through church. I remember those days. Tears are allowed and they are okay. She thanked me for that freedom.
Many are hurting because their lives have taken unexpected turns. A job loss. An awful diagnosis. A prodigal child. A disenchanted spouse. A broken family. No money for gifts under the tree. The list is long. Life can do some funny things.
The Christmas story is a story of unexpected turns. Mary and Joseph had plans like the other young folks in their town. God had other plans! Maybe you haven’t really thought of just what Mary’s pregnancy meant for them because of our society’s liberality concerning children born outside of marriage, but for them, this was HUGE! Mary could have been stoned to death. For the rest of her life, she would carry the stigma of being a fallen woman, despised by even her own family most likely. We know even Joseph had to be convinced by God’s angel that he should marry her and that she was truly carrying His Son.
Neither of them asked for this unexpected turn, yet they willingly accepted it as God’s will for their lives. It wasn’t what they had planned, but they were willing to lay down their plans to follow God’s plan. They were willing to endure whatever they had to in order to follow Him.
They sacrificed their lives for the One
who would sacrifice His life for all of mankind.
In faith, they trusted God, the One who loved them so much that He sent His only Son to be born of this young virgin Mary.
I think they were asked to do a really hard thing; much harder than anything I’ve ever been asked to do. But I was asked to accept an unexpected turn in my life. Unexpected turns are part of everyone’s life. What I have learned is that these turns are okay. Yes, they hurt most times, but they are still okay. Why? Because God has a plan, a perfect plan, for my life. And as Mary said to Gabriel, I have chosen to say to God “let it be to me according to Your word.” Mary and Joseph’s unexpected turn gave us the Savior. My life won’t bring about a Savior, but my life can reflect that Savior to others. May you, too, know this Savior who stands with you through every unexpected turn in life.
Lots of love, Sharon