[Guest post by Samantha Hanni: Trying to conceive, infertility, miscarriages and pregnancy are difficult times and Samantha is right — it’s so important to have a female companion on the journey! God certainly placed someone like this in my life, and what an encouragement she was!]
Luke 1:5-36; 39-45; 56
Elizabeth and Mary. Two pregnancies against all odds.
A virgin birth? A pregnancy after menopause? Medically impossible. Highly unlikely.
Imagine the looks the teenager and grandma-aged lady must have gotten from neighbors, even friends. The suspected immorality. The arched eyebrows and whispered comments behind palms.
How trying and humiliating…to be pregnant is to be already vulnerable, but to be labeled as odd on top of that? I can’t imagine.
However, God in His tenderness didn’t leave these special women to fend for themselves. I believe He orchestrated these two dynamic pregnancies to coincide with one another to provide the support and encouragement the new moms would need.
Elizabeth’s husband, John, couldn’t talk throughout her pregnancy. How hard would that be to not hear the voice of your love, your closest friend for nine months?
Mary was not even with Joseph for a third of her pregnancy, a whole trimester. I fight anxiety when my husband is out of town for the weekend, so I can’t imagine being separated from him for that length of time.
God’s love and care is demonstrated by bringing these two women together under extraordinary circumstances.
They were women who had a unique road ahead of them. The friendship and pregnancy moments shared during those months they stayed together undoubtedly fortified them for the days to come.
Whether it’s in pregnancy, miscarriage or barrenness, God is faithful to provide companions to join you on the journey. You have to be willing to let God accomplish this work, though. Sometimes it means opening up a difficult part of your life. Sometimes it means finding friendship in unlikely places.
Bringing new life into the world and conversely, waiting oh-so expectantly for life to begin in you is a difficult road to walk. And while husbands provide the tenderness and support that few others, even family members, could provide, other women in the same situation understand subtleties of the journey that few others can.
Look around you. If you are struggling with feeling alone and isolated, I am willing to bet God has placed companions in your life who will pray for you, share your burden and join you on the journey of bearing life, or the journey of struggling to understand why your body has not borne life yet.
Maybe God is calling you to reach out to some women in your life.
I had shared with a friend at church that I was due to start my monthly cycle the day before my 25th birthday, and I was dreading the disappointment from another month passing with no change, right before my special day. And Aunt Flo came right on schedule- and that meant my birthday was a very PMS-y day. Yuck. She texted me that morning and later in the afternoon saying she was praying for me that I would feel peace and contentment in spite of the circumstances.
Those words meant the world to me because I knew she understood. She knew how it felt to have another month go by with…nothing. Nothing but cramps and emotions that were all over the place.
It’s the enemy who wants us to feel isolated and alone. He can wreak great havoc on those who are separated from the flock. God never wants us to feel isolated and alone. His word promises He is always with us, and He desires that we find companionship and support in the body of Christ.
Sisters, let us follow Elizabeth and Mary’s example and support one another, during such seasons as these and always.
Samantha Hanni graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2012 with a degree in journalism. Her passion is encouraging other people and seeing God’s truth make a difference in their lives. She is featured in the devotional book “Big Dreams from Small Spaces” by Group Publishing and blogs at mrshanni.com. Samantha and her husband reside in Oklahoma City.