I'm Amber: the writer and Mrs. over at Mr. Thomas and Me. I've got tattoos, love to say shit, and have never said no to a glass of wine. More than all that, I love God. And, by His grace, I get to love Mr. T and you. All that said, I'm a lucky in love girl.
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I’ve got baby fever. And there’s not a baby on the Thomas schedule in the foreseeable future for reasons logical, responsible, and fair. But, I’ve got it. There’s something about all those fun little “And then there were three...” announcements that make the baby-wanting wishes burn deeper and hotter. And, in those wishes and wants for a family that's more than the two of us, jealousy burns like a teensy, blue-heated flame inside my heart.
Then, I think of Elizabeth. A woman past child-bearing age, barren, frustrated, and begging God for a child. Not only do I think of Elizabeth, but also her friend Mary, a virgin who ends up miraculously pregnant with the Son of God. And I wonder: did she feel that pang of jealousy? Did she wonder: "Why Mary? Why not me?"
“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!’”–Luke 1:39-45
No. Elizabeth rejoiced. The unborn child in Elizabeth’s womb rejoiced too. Blessed are you Mary, she exclaims at the top of her hormone-raging lungs. Blessed are you and your beautiful child. So blessed, in fact, my child who has no name or breath leaps with joy.
Unlike Elizabeth, I’m jealous. When a friend got engaged and I was still the long-term girlfriend of Mr. Thomas, my heart sank with sadness it wasn’t me despite the smile pasted on my face. Thankfully, I’ve matured. God’s worked on my heart. I can rejoice in the blessings of others with earnest joy, but, at times, there’s still that pang. When a fellow blogger tastes success and shares with me the good news, jealousy creeps. It begs the question: why not me?
Thankfully, God is great. Friends forgive my many shortcomings. And I’m learning and loving the act of exclaiming in a loud voice over the blessings of my dearest friends: “Blessed are you among women!”
Blessed are you friends. Blessed are your lives, your blogs, your spirits. And in parting, I pray for you, for me, for us.
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I dream of an Elizabethian friendship; for that someone who I can run to with my excited moments, my tearful sadnesses, my deepest fears and frustrations. That friend who loves so deeply that there is not room for the air of competition; only honest joy and hope remain in all the places of our hearts.
I know she can already be here in my life God. I’m missing out on her because I’m dense, stubborn, and ungrateful. Help lift that judgmental, competitive veil and strip away the barriers –emotional and physical- that I create in an attempt to protect myself.
More than my desire for that friend, God, I long to be her. Help me to feel deep joy, to fight jealous pangs, and to celebrate in the rays of your glory. Part of the dearness of real-life Elizabeths is vulnerability. I know you can mold me, Lord. Tenderize my tough heart and open space for the influence of the Elizabethian friends I’m missing.
Bless these women Lord. And allow me to share in their excited celebration.
May the God of hope, peace, and joy be with you.