I waited to post this until everything had settled into the new year. I hope you enjoy!
The pain increased and ripped through her body, building to an unbearable level, catching her breath. He grabbed her hand and squeezed.
“You can do it.“
The unpleasant aroma in the room was difficult to endure but the pain soon overshadowed the smell as it continued to course through her body and wash over her, leaving her lathered in sweat. In the background, she could hear an animal munching on hay. This is not how she had imagined it would be, although her simple upbringing had taught her not to expect too much. This, however, was unthinkable. A baby born in a barn. Everything seemed so wrong but she knew she was protected and loved. The man beside her cared for her but it was much more than that. As the pain crescendoed and released, she felt a strong relief and she knew everything would be okay. There was a deeper feeling in her heart that this was all an incredible gift that even she couldn’t fully understand.
She pushed one more time and finally, her baby was born. A rush of emotions and endorphins covered her exhaustion and pain as she held him for the first time. Wrapping him in cloth, she held him close and thanked God for this moment.
She pulled the baby boy close and looked into his tiny face. The man beside her hugged her gently and sat down to enjoy the moment. Suddenly, she felt a strange emotion she had not expected—love. Not her love for her new son but his love for her. There was a fierce bond that she knew would never be broken. Before long, she would come to understand even more. Although in her heart she vowed to do anything she could for him, she had no idea that he would do everything for her.
For months, she had been ridiculed and blamed for something that was not her fault. This man had stood beside her through it all even though he should have left, for this was not his son, yet he had remained close and willing to stay with her. Her eyes moved to his face and they both smiled.
All around the world people had dinner and went to bed. There were no Christmas lights or trees. There were no children waking the next morning to mounds of presents. There was only one gift… And He was perfect. This was the First Christmas…