My boy is 15 today.
The birth was traumatic. The umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck--twice--and tied in a double knot. We knew there was an issue when the doctor started exclaiming, "Whoa--WHOA!!!!" and the nurse attending the birth (a member of our church) had tears flowing down her cheeks. We didn't realize how much of an issue until much later when they told us that only one other baby had ever survived that in the long history of that hospital.
He's doing great. He's healthy, he's fun, he's smart, he's talented. He thinks, he processes, he loves God, he's responsible.
There is not a day that goes by that I don't thank God for him and for delivering him to our home. My love for him is indescribable and I would fall in front of a moving train if I thought it would spare him from illness, or heartache, or pain, or suffering.
And because his birthday is so close to Christmas, there is not a birthday that goes by that I don't think of Mary. What she must have suffered in her mother-heart as she looked at her 15-year-old boy.
The pondering that the Word says she did...how much of that was agonized pondering?
The sword must have begun piercing her own soul long before it pierced his side. The helpless agony she must have endured in her knowing--her awareness--her intense love.
I am a mama bear when it comes to my boy. Don't mess with him--don't fool with him! or I'll have to deal with you. I will move heaven and earth to help him when he's sick. I'll sacrifice whatever it takes to make sure he has what he needs.
How helpless Mary must have felt knowing that her boy's suffering was out of her control. It was beyond her limits of nurturing. It was beyond her ability, her realm of caring.
Sometimes it is agonizing to be chosen.
Sometimes it is a heavy weight to say "Be it unto me according to thy Word."
Sometimes it is unbelievably hard to trust, to walk the road alone, to ponder silently.
So, as I celebrate my miracle boy's birthday today, I am also giving thanks for Mary's suffering. Her sacrificial love. Her very human heart parenting divinity. Her willingness to give her first-born in order that eternal destiny may be fulfilled.
I can't even imagine what it must have been like.