Shae O'Brien is an English teacher, writer, wife, and mother to three beautiful girls. She takes life with a grain of salt and two spoonfuls of sugar! Please be sure to follow her on www.facebook.com/catholicmamablog.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Let Me Be Mary

I should preface this post by saying that I was not born a cradle Catholic. I became a convert at the age of 21, so the following childhood story in no way reflects any CCD classes or Catholic beliefs. Just my own child-like understanding of faith and God. Now you may read on...

When I was 11 years old, I was a very passionate little Christian. I read the Bible often, and as this was around the time when the Left Behind series was popular, I focused on Revelation quite a bit. One thing I had learned for certain was that Jesus would be coming back. I was incredibly excited for this event--you know, since I'd missed Him the first time. 

The thing is, in my childlike mind, I assumed Jesus couldn't just...show up. I mean, none of us show up fully grown! I believed this must mean He would need to be born...again. (No pun intended!) This is when I got the idea. I prayed night and day. And when I wasn't praying, I was watching my every action, word, and even thought meticulously. You see, if Jesus needed to be born, then God would need another Mary. And I was determined that He would choose me. 

Don't ask me how this idea came to me, but I wanted the opportunity to serve God the way Mary did, to give birth to someone who could change the world, to be selfless and full of love. While other girls asked God for pierced ears or a new video game, I continued day after day to beg God to realize I could be that mother. 

At some point I grew up, and someone or other explained to me how the book of Revelation was really supposed to be interpreted. I hadn't really thought much of this little anecdote from my childhood until recently. A family member posted a beautiful video of the song "Mary Did You Know" and I found myself in tears in parking lot of my work. A certain line simply took my breath away: When you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God. 

I am now an adult, a wife, and a mother to three perfect daughters. I know without a shadow of a doubt that when I look into their eyes, I am seeing the perfection of God, and His image shines with pure love through them right back at me. 

As I sat in my car thanking God for such an incredible blessing to serve Him as a mother, it hit me--He had heard my childhood prayer and answered it. I had asked to be a mother, to be selfless and full of love, to give birth to someone who could change the world. And here I am, living out such an incredible opportunity, a miraculous blessing that so many women hope and pray for daily. My daughters can change the world. I pray I guide them with a selfless attitude and heart full of love as they grow to find ways to change it for the better. I asked God, "Let me be Mary" and God smiled upon me. 

I may not be Mary in the literal, impregnated by the Holy Spirit kind of sense. But God blessed me with the spirit of a mother and the ability to become one, and I now thank God for such a role model as Mary while I navigate the blessing of motherhood each and every day. Maybe this little revelation is a silly one, but it really warmed my heart, and I hope it did yours as well. 

God bless you.