Dear Mary,

The days are long as I walk around with this precious human growing inside of me. Can you believe it? Me in my old age being gifted with a child?! I still remember the day when Zechariah came home and wasn’t able to speak. Not because he didn’t want to, but because the angel of the Lord that expressed the glorious message of my bearing precious John was so hard for your cousin Zechariah to really accept. Can you blame him?

I mean look at me. I am well-advanced in years, as you know. The questions still run rampant across the forefront of my mind. “Why me?” “Isn’t there one worthier than I?” This is why I pulled away and remained hidden for five months. I was able to refocus and worship God for the gift that rested safely in my belly. To cherish the moments of feeling John kick my abdomen. The Lord took away the reproach of my name of not being able to bear a child by blessing me with John.

I couldn’t not give the Lord glory due his name after such a miracle. 

It wasn’t long after my time with the Lord that you, yourself were visited by an angel. The day you walked into our house and greeted me the baby leaped in my belly. The Holy Spirit filled me and I couldn’t hold in the knowledge I now possessed. You are blessed among women, my dear cousin, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! I don’t understand why I was granted the privilege to have you, the mother of my Lord, to come to me. All I know is that John leaped with joy at the sound of your feet hitting the doorway. You are blessed to believe that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to you from the Lord.

My dear Mary, thank you for staying with me for three months. I pray your return was safe and that your travels were comfortable as you carry our Savior. Remember that our God has fulfilled His promise of our long-awaited Savior by choosing you to bring the greatest gift into the world that would abolish sin forever.

A little while after you left, John came. Our neighbors and relatives heard that our Lord has shown great mercy to me and they rejoiced with Zechariah and I. He was circumcised on the eighth day, as we have been commanded to do. You know that Zechariah until this point was still unable to speak. The custom is to name one’s child after one of your relatives, however; this was not the case for beautiful baby John. The crowd was perplexed because none of our relatives bore the name John. Zechariah took his tablet and wrote out that his name was to be called John. With the last stroke of his pen forming the “n”, his tongue loosened and he was able to speak. Our neighbors full of fear  watched as Zechariah blessed the Lord over and over again.

Mary, in that moment time stopped. Baby John was here. I felt the natural instinct that I am sure all mothers feel when their child rests in their arms– love. As you prepare in these final months, my encouragement to you is to soak in the blessing and honor of the child you carry. As soon as he enters your arms, you will want to fiercely protect and lovingly cherish your son.

My prayer for you and Joseph is to remember God’s promise. His promise to always be with you. You will fail as a mother. You will also do well as a mother. And you may not ever fully understand why God has chosen you and Joseph to bring the Savior into this world. But He has. Treasure these things in your heart. God is doing great things through you, precious one. Your story will be one that carries on throughout generations. Remain faithful to the One who holds you in His arms. Do not be afraid. Trust.

With all of my love,

Elizabeth

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