In those days Sue set out after procrastinating for a few weeks, obsessively checking ‘what to expect in your first trimester of pregnancy’, and (over) packing her bags accordingly. She got to the house of Zechariah, and before she could even greet Elizabeth, she flopped into a chair, and exclaimed,
“Oh my gosh, girl, have you any idea how bad the roads to Judea are? My legs are killing me!”
“I know exactly what you mean! Man, pregnancy at my age!”
“Which is SO cool by the way!”
“I KNOW, right?! God is good! Who could have imagined! You should hear all the other old cats talking about it, I’m the talk of the town.”
“Oh yeah, people love to gossip. At least you’re MARRIED! I thank God for Joseph – he has been a GEM, so discreet. But let’s get down to business. I need some tips for the morning sickness! And is it normal to have cramps? What has it been like for you?”
“Well- OH!” “What? What happened?”
“Oh my gosh, put your hand here! Can you feel that? Baby just jumped for joy! I think he KNOWS!”
“WOW! So exciting. And yet.. so scary! What lies ahead? Where am I going to give birth? I hope my mum will be there. Can this baby really be… the son of God? I mean, I know it’s true, but it feels so unreal! How am I supposed to figure this all out? It’s not like angels come visit me every day, telling me what the next step is! And Joseph has been so great, but I’m sure he has the same questions too. I’m sure he thinks I’ve got it all figured out… but I really don’t! Why wouldn’t Gabriel give me a slightly more detailed plan? Maybe even a five year plan. How am I supposed to mother GOD? Does that even make sense? Do you think God accidentally picked the wrong person? Maybe Gabriel was supposed to appear to my neighbour, Miriam- there's a nice, composed, holy girl for you. Gaaah! These hormones are making me crazy! Or maybe that's just me. I love my sweet tiny baby already, but how can it be, that I can be so protective of my Protector? How come I’m in charge of this tiny human?”
“You know, Sue, technically, God is still in charge.”
“I KNOW. But STILL. He seems to expect a lot of me. He definitely seems to trust me more than I trust me.”
“I often feel the same way. You know, Zechariah STILL can’t speak? I know something crazy happened that day in the temple, and he has been so tender and reverent since that day. But he can’t speak! Why would God have cursed him and blessed me? How does that even make sense? What if he never speaks again? What if our child never hears his father’s voice?”
“Life is pretty confusing sometimes. I suppose God will work it all out. Anyway… is it okay if I take a nap now?”
Yeah, so I noticed when I was reading Luke's account of the Visitation just how different my approach to life is from Mary’s. Basically, no matter how great the blessings, I will still land up talking about all the challenges, the potential struggles, the doubts and questions, the anxiety I feel, and the many, many things that could go wrong. Of course, it is good to be honest.
BUT like Mary and Elizabeth, I think I would like to spend a little more time and focus on just reveling in the Lord’s goodness, remembering the good things He has already done, and entrusting the unknown future to Him. It's a little less melodramatic and leaves less room for self-pity. It may be less funny than humorous re-tellings of my mishaps and trials. It may take a conscious act of the will to change the obsessive, overthinking habits of years. But sometimes I just need to stay in the moment and sing my own Magnificat.