Before, I didn't know what you felt when having a baby.
I didn't know the pain you went through and I still don't know the feeling of being an outcast in society as much as you did.
I didn't know the reality of traveling miles and miles on donkeys and still ending up having nowhere to give birth.
I didn't know you could love your child more than life, before He was even brought into the world.
I didn't know that carrying a child, would change your life and everything you did in it. Every move you made. Every thought you could think up. Every breath you would ever breathe again.
I didn't know about all of the strangers that came to see you and your baby. I didn't think about how weird that would be and how hard it would be to let someone you've never seen and know nothing about, bless your child.
I didn't know.
I didn't know how lonely you probably felt.
I didn't know that babies were THAT special.
I didn't know that having a baby so many miles away would make your friends dissipate, and cause you to feel very distant from people that you felt you knew like the back of your hand.
I didn't know that having a baby when everyone thought you were crazy would make you toughen up so much.
I didn't know that it would make you lean on God so, so much. More than anyone else.
I didn't know.
But now I do.
I know that having a child changes your world.
I know that having a baby in a town that is not your own, surrounded by new faces, is very strange.
I know that having a baby in a barn is not near what our "nativity scenes" make it out to be. They are smelly, foul, and dirtier than I've ever imagined possible. The sour smell of urine that's never been cleaned from the ground must have been pleasant while giving birth.
I know about barns now.
I know that placing your baby in a "manger" where animals eat from must have been devastating, after finally catching your breath from releasing God's child from your womb.
Did you have hay?
Was it clean?
I know that you are a badass because there is no way you had much help in that barn. No way that Joseph was like "Ok... here's exactly what you gotta do, darlin', then I'll take it from there".
You must have been a quiet and humble woman to not have pitched a fit about no one giving up their room in the inn when you were about to pop.
I like to think I'm humble, but...
I'd have a lot of questions for those folks... and some words too. That's probably one reason He didn't choose someone like me to carry Jesus. #rolemodel
I got the last room that was open in the hospital...
But it wasn't a barn.
It was probably bigger than a barn.
It was probably bigger than my apartment was, really.
And I had a bed.
I know that watching your baby grow and knowing that He was not truly yours, was hard.
My daughter belongs to God too.
But in a different way.
I'll never have to go through what you went through.
I do try to relate.
But I know that you couldn't relate to anyone.
And sometimes, that's how I relate to you.
Thanks for your sacrifice.
Thanks for your patience.
Thanks for fulfilling God's promises.
And thanks for raising the Savior of the world.
I don't think you hear that enough.
Merry Christmas, Mary.