Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means, “God is with us.” -Matthew 1:23
As Dave and I excitedly prepared for the arrival of Hugh thirteen years ago, we had no idea how parenting would change our lives. While many of our family and friends shared helpful preparatory advice and
encouragement for adjusting to the world of parenthood, one piece stood out from the rest. Newly frazzled, exhausted, and overwhelmed as parents, Dave’s dad looked at us holding our new baby and said, “Remember, this baby came to live with you.” His statement helped ease our anxieties and enabled us to better transition our lives from two to three.
Dave and I would often remind each other of his dad’s shared tidbit during stressful moments of parental inadequacy and insecurities. Within that simple statement was the recognition that no matter the mistakes we might make or the parental “fails” that would inevitably happen (because they happen to everyone!), this child would be loved and adored. I am so blessed that Hugh came to live with us, and then to have Nola join our family nine years later.
As I reflect on this statement, Remember, this baby came to live with you, I can’t help but think of the birth of Jesus. God loved the world so much that a child was sent to live among us! This infant, swaddled in cloth, sleeping in a manger came to live amongst us! This child would ease our insecurities and inadequacies. This baby would show the world how the love and grace of God is transformative and belongs to each and every one of us!
During this time of Advent, a time of preparation and excitement, remember that Jesus came to live with you!