“Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.”Psalm 40
Today, on the Feast of the Incarnation (or the Feast of the Annunciation), we remember the special mystery of Mary, the Mother of God, becoming pregnant with the Savior of the World.
Since finding out about my own pregnancy, I have meditated on Mary carrying the infant Christ almost constantly. Truth be told, my melancholic temperament makes it so that I take long periods of time to process things. Though I’m several months into my first pregnancy, some aspects still have not sunk in. Like Mary, I suppose, I have been “pondering these things in my heart.” But like all events in my life, taking up the pen seems to help me reconcile my thoughts.
Mary is often forgotten about throughout the year until a brief debut in December, but today – exactly nine months before Christmas – is a beautiful remembrance of the moment the world changed forever. The incarnatus, the incarnation, is when the Holy Spirit “overshadowed” Mary after she gave the full gift of herself in order to fulfill the Will of God. Fiat, she said. “Thy will be done.”
I am not noticeably pregnant yet at 16 weeks, and though the experience is real enough for me with morning sickness, nausea, hip pain, and all the rest, the comment that I have received from friends and family the most is, “I still can’t believe you’re pregnant.”
There is a great level of solitude when one goes through a pregnancy. Even though the world may know about it, there will always be a veil behind which a mother and child are hidden, experiencing the first months of life unfolding, just the two of them. An outsider cannot see the life within until the belly is unmistakable, but it is a wonderful thing to behold the tenderest form of life for a short time by myself. This little one I carry with me, whose heartbeat I heard at just 8 weeks and whose hands and feet and eyes and nose are growing in the shape of their mommy and daddy, had a soul at the moment of conception. God knows this little one now and from all time.
Perhaps the great mystery of today, the Feast of the Incarnation, is the knowledge that God was not only incarnate, meaning that He became man, lowering himself to earth in order to raise us up with Him, but also that our loving Father also made humans co-creators with Him. This honor was not even given to angels, the highest of all celestial beings. He endowed man and woman with this supreme gift, in union with His will. Bringing forth new life, new creation, is a mystery so divine that it is difficult to wrap one’s mind around. It has become more real to me than ever before.
Upon finding out that I was pregnant, I had a little fiat moment of my own. It was a surprise to my husband and I, though we wanted kids the proverbial “someday”. Well, life happens… literally. Over the past few months, it has been tempting for me to fall for the lies of feminism and the errors of our modern generation. I mean, look at me: I’m a business owner, I independently travel around the nation visiting clients, and the list goes on. The lie, so ingrained even in my own mind, is that my work is more important than my family. How will I do this? What about my income? and many worries like it bubble up incessantly. As our culture grows ever further from creating a healthy home and family life, I have to make the choice every day to rest in the plan that God has for me. Anyone can do my job, but only I can do the work that He has laid out for me.
Let’s be real… I’m sure I will never be able to stop working entirely, for practical reasons, as well as for my sanity. But that’s the cool thing about motherhood: there’s no one way to do it. Without getting too far ahead of myself, I’m content to rest in this mystery that is unfolding and stretching and growing within me every day. I cherish the closeness and realness of such a miracle, and that is enough for now.