Julie Sanders is my guest today. The following post is based on her new book “Expectant,” a devotional book for expecting Moms.
Most women expect to experience the “normal” path of family and mothering. But life doesn’t always happen like we expect. Like many of us, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, learned that a life of faith often takes unexpected turns.
When Zechariah came home from serving at the temple he brought long-awaited, but miraculous news. By this time though, Elizabeth had long since laid her expectations to rest. For so many years, she hoped with hesitation turned to heaviness. Elizabeth waited to feel her womb full with a child long enough for other women to conceive, grow, give birth, and raise their beloveds to families of their own. But her womb and her arms had been empty even as she dutifully welcomed child after child.
Whether a woman embarks on the mothering journey at a traditional time in a typical way, or at a surprising time in a singular way, God reveals Himself in motherhood. Children are given under the Father’s tender, watchful eye. God knows the longings and limitations of His own children, and He sees how every mother’s heart is expectant.
Elizabeth conceived just as the angel had told Zechariah. For his lack of faith, her husband waited wordlessly throughout her pregnancy. He believed in the power of his expectations, instead of the One who exceeds our hopes. Together, the aged man and wife became the humbled father and mother, for becoming a parent has a way of exposing our weakness and sending us to our knees. The elderly first-time mother must have wondered if she could manage an infant in her season of life, but as I share in EXPECTANT, “If He has given you a child to nurture, He can give you the energy and wisdom and desire to raise that child well.”
After most of a lifetime spent waiting and wondering, God did more than Elizabeth could ask or imagine, giving her a son who would be John the Baptist. Her boy was born just before Jesus and was sent to announce the coming Prince of Peace. God exceeded her expectations in the perfect time and in the perfect way.
God wants to do more than what you expect in your life and in your child’s life. How has God been working in “unexpected” ways in your life recently?
Julie lives where tea is sweet and grits are cheesy. She and her husband of 25 years have two nearly grown kids. EXPECTANT: 40 Devotions for New and Expectant Moms was born when God brought a group of young couples into their lives, just as they began to long to grow their families. Julie loves to teach God’s word to women in her hometown and across the globe; she is passionate about fighting human trafficking and helping women of all tribes and tongues find God’s peace for life. Check out Julie’s blog Come Have a Peace and Marriage Mondays to find reasons for peace and information about her ministry. “EXPECTANT” is available at Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Find Julie on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.