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  • Writer's pictureBethany Harrold

Preparing Room

Three months ago, I gave birth to a baby boy.

This season has been full of the beautiful chaos and extra grace that living with a newborn requires. I've been waking up at all hours of the night, living on demand for feedings and learning how to do every household task with one hand while holding a baby in the other. I've decided that spit-up stains and messy hair have just become part of my "look".

So when I sat down to write this post, I felt uninspired, scattered and worn out. I felt like a mom of a newborn. And then I realized that’s just a portion of how Mary must have felt; being a teenage mother, in a strange place surrounded by the unknown. Exhausted, scared, and overwhelmed with questions. Everything was new and foreign. I imagine she had thoughts along the lines of, "Why was I chosen to do this? Can I navigate bringing a baby into this broken world? How will I possibly be able to raise Him when I am so human and He is the Son of God? How will I make it?"

And yet, as people came from near and far to see the little one she had labored over, she must have sensed the monumental shift. She must have felt the glory housed in that small shed full of animals and strong smells. In the midst of all the exhaustion, there must have been peace… peace in knowing that God has a bigger plan. Joy… joy in holding that small body in her arms and watching his chest rise and fall with each breath. Hope… hope that surpassed every struggle to become her solid footing in an uncertain landscape.

Are these not gifts we all need? The world around us is treacherous. The direction we’re supposed to walk can be unclear. We’re often full of questions. We're exhausted and overburdened by our own devices.

But there is such an invitation this season. It’s an invitation to take a cue from Mary and do exactly what she must have done on that first night: to look into the eyes of Jesus and let peace fill your soul. Allow mystery and wonder to drown out the how, what, when and whys. Let the joy of the Lord be your strength.

One of our favorite Christmas songs goes, “Joy to the world! The Lord is come. Let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare Him room.”

The invitation begs, will you prepare room in your heart for the Holy Son? Will you steal a few moments to connect with the audacity of the Christmas story? What if you allowed yourself to be the recipient of His delight and then return that delight back to Him? Just as the wise men brought costly gifts to lay before the babe, what gift will you bring Him today - will it be your trust? Your schedule? Unhindered praise? Your heart?

As I finish writing this small exhortation, I can hear my little ones beginning to wake up as the dawn begins to break on this cold and still morning. Another day begins. It will be full of noise, questions and uncertainties… but just like that in that shed on the first Christmas night, there will be overflowing peace, hope, and joy, because the King is here. I will choose to be like Mary and store every promise in my heart as I lean into the joy of the Lord. I invite you to lean with me, to prepare room in your heart, and to “let Him” fill you with wonder this season.

Glad tidings to my beloved Fusion family. I’ll see you this Saturday for our Christmas Eve candlelight service as we gather to let Him move us in wonder and joy. Merry Christmas!


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