As holiday celebrations come to a close and the New Year quickly approaches, many of us find ourselves reflecting on 2018 — the victories we gained and the challenges we overcame. We look back on the lives we’ve touched, and those who have touched ours in ways that we could never have imagined. For parents, this time of year poses an opportunity to reflect on the tremendous gift you’ve been given — to raise a child who will grow up in an atmosphere of love and nurturing acceptance. But for those who may be facing an unplanned pregnancy, this time of celebration and reflection can be filled with fear and anxiety about the uncertain future that lies ahead.
An unplanned pregnancy brings with it questions about whether a new mother or father has what it takes to care for a baby and the manage the responsibilities of bringing a new life into the world. But if we take note of the holiday season, the story of Jesus’ miraculous, yet unplanned birth tells us a very different story. As Jesus’ birth approached, his parents found themselves in transition, moving from one place to another in an effort to find safety and stability. Jesus’ arrival didn’t occur under ideal circumstances in a pristine environment where every convenience was made available.
No, the Scriptures record that Jesus was born – full of promise and potential in a barn, a temporary lodging that had been secured in the midst of their family crisis. Now over 2000 years later, long after that miraculous birth in less than perfect circumstances, the world is still being changed by that baby who grew up to save the world.
The less-than-perfect circumstances surrounding his birth and the frailties and mistakes of his parents didn’t stop Jesus from radically transforming the world around him. As we experience the glory of this holiday season, it’s important for expectant parents to know that perfection is not required. It doesn’t matter what challenges or obstacles are currently surrounding you or the arrival of the little one growing on the inside of your womb. Their potential and purpose can emerge with grace and strength that far surpasses the challenges you’re currently facing.
Take a moment today and dream of how your unborn child can impact and transform the world with an opportunity to experience life. Countless children of mothers and fathers who have considered abortion, now look back and say, “Thank you for choosing Life!” More recently, media mogul Oprah Winfrey thanked her mother for choosing life. Though the moments that you face right now may be dark and difficult, light will eventually come and you will be thankful that you held on to the hope, the life that has been given to you as a precious gift.
As we enter into 2019, look beyond fear of not having enough money, time, patience, or ability to parent successfully. Perfection is not required. Look at what you do have. Look at your child as an amazing gift that you can bring forth into the world. The world will never be the same, and will be wonderfully changed as a result of your willingness to be a parent.
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