I remember finding out in February of 2000 that I was pregnant with my first child. After being married for four years, my husband and I were excited to start our little family. The nausea kicked in and my tummy stretched, but the thought of my baby growing helped me to endure the discomfort. 

Being pregnant is stressful, both physically and emotionally. In addition to the normal changes that come with pregnancy, my baby had an abnormal blood test. Further tests revealed that our baby had Chromosome 16, a genetic disorder. We named him Jalen Uriah and began praying fervently. Sadly, when I went for my 20 week check up, the nurse could not find my baby’s heartbeat. The next morning, I was induced and gave birth to my stillborn son 21 hours later. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. Thankfully, In the following years, the Lord in His goodness allowed us to have two sons who each bear their older brother’s names, Jalen and Uriah. This time, my expectant pregnancies were met with joyful fulfillment.

In thinking of the Advent season, which means both waiting and coming, it is similar to being pregnant. We have a present reality while also having an expectant hope of a coming fulfillment in the future. In the Christmas story we are reminded of the Angel Gabriel’s proclamation over two women in Luke 1. Elizabeth, who was married to the priest Zechariah, was “barren” and “advanced in years,” and would give birth to John the Baptist. In contrast, young Mary was “a virgin” and “betrothed” to Joseph, and she would give birth to “the Son of the Most High” and call him Jesus. However, while today many families gladly share their pregnancies, Elizabeth and Mary both stayed hidden during their pregnancies due to social repercussions. Yet, in the waiting, God was working. As the babies grew in their mothers’ expanding wombs, unseen to everyone, God was bringing forth the Messiah and His forerunner. 

While they were both pregnant, Mary came to visit Elizabeth and baby John “leaped for joy” and “Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.” Mary then broke out in a song of praise to God called Mary’s Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). I can only imagine the joy experienced by both women in those moments! Even in the hiding and waiting, each knew their sons were a part of God’s divine plan for the salvation of His people. Did they understand what that meant? Did Mary know the loss she would experience when Jesus would die at the cross? Probably not. Yet, I am sure if you would ask them to do it all again, they would. Even I would say yes to being pregnant with my firstborn again. Why? I have an expectant hope of a coming fulfillment. While I did not know Jalen Uriah this side of heaven, I look forward to seeing his precious face on the other side. 

Even though Christ’s redemptive work is already complete, the Holy Spirit continues to unfold the Father’s full plan till Jesus comes back. And so, we wait. That is the beauty of the Advent season that even in the waiting, God is working!

 

This article was written by Rochelle Rocha Roots. Rochelle holds a Master of Family Ministry and is the Executive Assistant to the President at SCS. She is a speaker and teacher, biblical counselor, and facilitator and founded Healthy Family Roots to help families have healthier relationships.