Do you remember the feeling of being alone with your baby in your home for the first time? I do. When my mom left and my husband went back to work I panicked a little. The weightiness was severe. This tiny creature was completely dependent upon me. He was completely helpless without me.
The incarnation is commonly described by the phrase “God became man.” But the Christmas story, the nativity, verse 12 of Luke 2, causes us to pause and remember… God did not just become man… God became a baby. When he took on flesh, the Prince of Heaven, through whom all things were created, who had immeasurable riches and knowledge and power, gave up his ability to control his arms, to wipe his own bottom, and to meet his own needs.
We all have a desire for significance: to be beautiful, to be seen, to be of worth, to be accepted, and to be loved. And whether we acknowledge it or not, we’re all in a constant search of it. Our desire for significance motivated our career decisions, propelled our quest for our spouses, fueled our desires for children, and today keeps us measuring ourselves and our surroundings against social media, magazines, and each other.
The experience of being a mom cannot fully satisfy this longing for worth and significance… in fact for many of us it only intensifies our feelings of worthlessness and shame. While extraordinarily beautiful, holding the long awaited babe after 9 months of anticipation, like any of our other "if onlys," doesn’t prove to be some magical cure for our abiding ache. Some of the most powerful feelings of rejection I have ever felt were in the early days of my struggle to breastfeed. “What’s wrong with me? I’m his mom. Why doesn’t he want me?” Moms of "threenagers" lay down their lives for their kids only to hear them shout “I don’t like you! I want my daddy” when they don't get their way. And then there's the ever watching public eye. Older women make wounding “observations” or offer “advice” that just feels so unnatural and foreign to who we are.
We fall into bed desperate (especially at the end of the longer feeling days) for someone to look at us and tell us how wonderful we are, how valuable we are, and how wanted we are when often we feel like failures, believe that others are better suited for the task, and get passed over for “daddy.” We will not find the true source of our worth and significance in the words of others, in the goings-on of our homes, or in the contents of our cribs. We will find it wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.
Do you know what you’re worth? You are worth the Prince of heaven forfeiting his throne, his majesty, and perfect fellowship with his father to become a baby; a baby who would grow to be a man, who would suffer and die a horribly painful death so that you could be with him forever. He gave up everything for you. That’s what you’re worth to the creator of the universe.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION/ APPLICATION:
- What do you look to for significance and meaning that isn’t Jesus? Who do you long to “see” you, call you valuable, worthy, or wanted?
- Our worth because of Christ’s coming is easy to assent to intellectually in this moment, but hard to believe when we feel worthless. Practically speaking, how can we remind our souls of this truth?
Abbey Wedgeworth lives in the SC low country with her handsome husband and their 9 month old baby boy, Will. She is passionate about honesty, discipleship, and biblical literacy. She struggles to maintain hobbies since becoming a mama, among them: baking, sewing, making music, and writing. You can find some of that writing at gentleleading.com .