My best friends birthday was approaching, It was a significant milestone. I remembered planning ahead trying to figure out what we’re going to do for her.
I contacted her to find out what she had planned, I persisted in asking her until she said “I won’t be having any celebration”.
I sort of expected it because I’ve known for over 20 years and I have never celebrated a birthday with her or celebrated her birthday. I knew her reasons. However, I did not think that such a milestone would go uncelebrated.
She’s single and not currently in a relationship, she’s approaching the age where having children is considered risky, she’s premenopausal. She is in between jobs and between homes.
The last few years have been really difficult for her having lost her dad, which means both parents will not be around when and if she eventually gets married and have children.
Lack of success and achievement in certain areas of our lives, leaves us disappointed and robbed.
You too may be asking yourself as Christmas approaches, what’s there to celebrate?
There is a perceived natural progression of ones life, grow up, go to school, meet your partner, graduate, get married, have children and live happily ever after.
As I’ve come to know, life isn’t always a straight line from A to Z. Life will take you from N to B and, from S to W and back again from V to K.
Live doesn’t give you what you order, God does. Life doesn’t give you what you expect, faith in God does. Life doesn’t give you what you think you should have, trust and hope in God does.
And as a result of not getting to those milestones we decide what, when to celebrate and how to celebrate.
Celebration is not about things. We celebrate because we look inside ourselves and we know that regardless of where we are and how far we still have to go, we have a reason to be thankful because a lot of people did not get as far as we have come.
We are thankful because against all odds, are still standing. we reflect on the good we have in our lives.
I want to encourage you today, If you find yourself void of joy, void of any enthusiasm to celebrate let the births of Christ inspire you.
What is there to celebrate?
For starters, your health, Your amazing support group, The families in your life. For the strength to keep going, your nieces and nephews, for your job.
Count your blessings, and let your focus well on God’s goodness, not on the absence of should have been.
Our cup is not half empty but half full.
This Christmas rejoice in the fullness of joy that Christ brought when he came into our world. This is why we celebrate.
How often have you wondered what’s going on in your life, how did I get here? How am I going to get out of it? How will it all turn out?
It is often the case, going through infertility leaves us with countless questions.
There’s also someone who wondered about what was going on in her life.
Mary was a little girl from a little village she was betrothed to be married and she was suddenly pregnant.
I imagine many a night Mary ponded what was going on with her? She wondered about her future even though the Angel told her she was carrying the saviour, I imagine in a quietness of her heart,
She had to still process it all. She must have faced doubt even as she progressed in her pregnancy
I imagine she was plagued with so many questions. I don’t think the angels kept coming to reassure her, that the child she was carrying is actually the saviour. There were no account of angels coming month after month to encourage her. Mary trusted God and held him to that promise.
I imagine Mary processed what was going on as she looked at her changing body day and night, contended with knowing and questioning looks from those around her. I imagine even Jospeh’s family may have wondered and she may have wondered as well what on earth do they think happened..
Yes, infertility and what Mary experienced are worlds apart, but nevertheless there are some lessons to draw from Mary’s experience:
Have you pondered what’s going on? Worried about knowing looks, about your aging body? Worried about what the future holds and how you will deal with it?
As I have frequently said in this place we don’t know the future, we don’t know how our story will end, all we can do is hold onto God’s promises.
Has he told you anything? Ponder over them. Has he promised you something? Ponder over it and trust Him completely With your future.
Just like Mary let your soul Him for his wonderful promise which will be fulfilled in your life.
It’s the season of giving and receiving gifts. I have been trying to find the most thoughtful presents for my loved ones and I am sure you are as well.
What will it cost you to do something for someone else? Time, money, your possessions or skills. Going through trying times leaves us focus on ourselves, often too drained to consider giving any of these to others.
I realized this during the most difficult periods of my life, I couldn’t give of myself to anything, I was focused on getting through the stage of infertility, but I knew there were so many in need of my skills and thankfully I decide to keep a journal of my experiences which started faithful wait
Although God freely gives us gifts of love, grace, mercies, forgiveness, protection, provision and love. He makes no demands made of us, because it already cost Him, His Son. It was and remains the most costly gift of all time. The person we now celebrate at Christmas was give. as a gift for many.
His life bought our freedom from sin, sickness, loss, disappointment and gave us a living hope.
His paid once so that we can enjoy his gifts eternally.
So this Christmas consider someone in worse situation than yourself and give them a gift you can afford, or go a step further, give a gift that will cost you something.
Remember Christ promised to surround you with with favor like a shield in the mist of your situation.
He is with you through every circumstance shielding you, so that you can also respond by helping others.
As you receive Gods blessings during this time, and all through the years, find time to share your gift with others.. because what you receive freely cost him everything.
Here in the UK, we celebrate mother’s day on the 27th March of every year. It may be a different day wherever you are but one thing remains the same, for the women waiting, the feeling is the same.
That feeling of uncertainty, of wondering, not knowing, feeling of abandonment.
No matter where you on your journey, I salute you, your steadfastness, strength, your resilience in the face of pain and uncertainty.
For anyone who is currently waiting to be a mother, celebrating mothers doesn’t inspire joy in you, rather it does the opposite, it brings tears, isolation and dread, that maybe you may never experience being celebrated.
You are an over comer, you have overcome the stigma and shame, the sorrows and the fear, the dread of tomorrow and you are now on your way to being more. So keep your hopes alive and continue to have faith.
You are an encouragement, a winner and you will one day tell your story of how you overcome.
Today we’re going to look at BLESSINGS IN WAITING.
I think trying or waiting for a child, child loss due to miscarriage or death is one of the most terrible experiences in anyones life.
I had two miscarriages, and sometimes I wonder what my unborn children would have looked like. Had they survived what ages will they be now. I have Come to terms with these loss, but I still wonder.
Anna is an example of a woman who yearned for a baby, she cried because she felt helpless at the delays, she saw her mates bearing children she saw how they relate with those children, she observed it all, day in and day out year in and out.
Elizabeth was also an example of one who waited. These blessings in waiting causes pain, we become entangled in the daily reality of the delay that we live in.
Everyone at one time or the other have experienced joy from having their prayers answered.
Have you ever waited for something, and got it?That desire was a blessing in waiting.
There was a time you waited for a job, for mortgage, for a life partner, for financial breakthrough. They were all blessings in waiting at one time or another.
Let’s just pause and look back at those blessings in waiting which you now enjoy. I know how delays can lead us into a place of deep dissatisfaction inpatience and hopelessness.
How do you explain that after eight years of waiting? Today, those blessings in waiting are my reality. I am living and enjoying my beautiful kids but I’m still waiting I’m waiting for a healing.
While enjoying my blessings of children, I draw strength from the fact that the God who did that for me can also fulfil his promise of healing in my life.
I want you to draw strength from your current blessings while you wait for those yet to come.
When you think of Christmas and the period leading up to it, I am sure you are not thinking of variants, lockdowns and isolating. .
Lately all we read about is how far covid has spread, the various variants, numbers infected and living under the threat of lockdowns.
Christmas and the time leading up to it, use to be a time of excitement, anticipation, waiting for that gift, looking forward to carol services, the dread of secret santa, expecting friends and family for the pre- Christmas lunch/parties and post Christmas visits.
After the Christmas festivities we begin to plan for the year ahead. But the uncertainty of Covid has caused panic around the globe, the question on everyone’s lips-
“Is another lockdown coming or not”.
The present situation makes me pause and wonder about the few days before Christ birth,
How did Mary and Joseph felt at the coming of a baby at a time of great uncertainty? They had to travel to Bethlehem for the censors.
Making that journey miles away, with Mary only a few days from birth was no small feat. Only to arrive with no room anywhere in town not even in the inn, but in the manger in the inn.
The uncertainty surrounding Christ birth is nothing compared to what we face today.
Mary must have uttered a silent prayer to God. “Remember us lord” Help us God”.“Protect us God”.
I am sure she did, because they had to flee a few days after his birth, on the run to save His life. She must have constantly prayed for safety carrying the promised child.
You too may have had your procedure cancelled or postponed, or maybe expecting after a long wait and living under the uncertainty of what the future holds for you and your child. Under the threat of Covid and other external factors.
During times of stress and distress we often cry out for help, we ask God the higher power for intervention, to step in and often he does.
Just like He stepped into Rachel’s situation and she became pregnant. God stepped in and saved Jesus from being slaughtered.
He will remember you and step in.
He does and has not forgotten you, he knows your name, your situation and location.
Draw near to him now and stay close, and be enclosed in His peace. He will come and he will help you.
Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14