Gifts of the Magi

An Unexpected Gift

A miracle in the making

Unexpected Christmas Gift by Shelby Miller on Unsplash

It was a chilly afternoon in December. It was my second winter in Maryland and I hadn’t yet grown accustomed to the cooler weather, being a Florida native. My growing womb had become increasingly more uncomfortable as my insides stretched to make room for the new life growing inside. It was my first pregnancy and I found myself in the middle of a sacred holiness that I hadn’t known existed. The little flutters of butterfly wings reminded me that my small partner was awake, and a smile of contentment widened across my face.

A miracle in the making, our son was due the following month and we were the quintessential first-time parents-to-be — recording every milestone, reading each week’s expectations from an over-priced pregnancy bible that only served to make the waiting more unbearable with each passing day. I felt connected to my ancestors in a mysterious way, carrying life as many have before me, and the tears were always ready behind my eyelids. This was happening and we were ready, or so we thought.

Because of the upcoming holidays and other responsibilities, we had decided not to travel and were looking forward to a cozy and quiet Christmas at home. Nearing the end of the pregnancy, appointments became more frequent and the next one would prove to be one I nor my husband would ever forget. A routine checkup revealed that I was very ill — my blood pressure was dangerously elevated and I would have to deliver our son that day to save both our lives.

He came in a rush of chaos and glory, only making the faintest squeak to announce his arrival. He was here, an entire month early, and in the wee hours of Christmas Eve, we became parents. Unexpectedly, and not without challenge, this gift of life was presented to us. A tiny, yet perfect representation of the Imago Dei, we beheld our son with awe and admiration. The majesty and wonder of the season were not lost on his arrival. This was the greatest Christmas gift we have received to date, and we have not yet ceased to revel in the gift of his life and love.

Whether your gift this year is expected or unexpected like ours, remember that all good gifts come from above.