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Will He call me Dad? – Mary Mahan-Deatherage

It has been the craziest couple of weeks. But they fit perfectly with the insanity of the past few months. If hindsight is 20/20 then what is foresight? I could use a little of that right now.

Hmm… What to do … what to do?

She’s not feeling well. I’ve got to find a place for her to sit. Stay calm. My heart has been pounding out of my chest for weeks because of stress and worry. If I freak out, she will, too.

I’m trying to wrap my mind around the baby, plus this trip through the mountains. Why in the world are we doing this? This government is insane, although I’d never say that aloud. I can finally see the lights of Bethlehem. Thank you, God!

There are so many people here. This is ridiculous. I thought we’d easily find a place to stay. I just didn’t think our plans through. We were in such a hurry. A friendly innkeeper offered the only solution when he saw how pregnant Mary was. Now, we have no choice but to sleep in a dirty cave. Mary says we’ll be fine. She’s sweet and calm. I’m sweaty and stunned. I’m such a failure. I had so much on my mind. I thought there would be more time. If we had left a couple of days earlier, I could’ve found a place for us to stay.

As I help Mary off the donkey, I roll the scene from a few months ago through my mind. It’s kind of a never-ending loop. I attempt to pray it away every time it pops in my head … which is a lot.

father holding baby on lap with hands cradling his head.

When I saw that she was pregnant, I was blown away. Why did this happen? How could this happen?

I must be insane because when she explained, I didn’t believe her, but I did, too. The look on her face was so convincing.

I was angry. Then I was sad. I felt betrayed. How was there another man? I figured I’d just cancel the wedding quietly, not tell anyone. It’s rough keeping the gossip mongers at bay, though. I love her. I just wasn’t sure what to do. One thing I knew was that I couldn’t let anything terrible happen to her.

Then I had the wildest dream. An angel came to tell me not to be afraid. Yeah, right. He revealed that she wasn’t lying. Said I was chosen to protect them, to love them and to raise the boy. He said I could choose. 

I prayed. 

I cried. 

I pulled my hair out. 

I was sick and tired. 

I decided to trust God. 

What would you do?

When my friends asked about her, I told them, ‘We’re in love. That’s all that matters. We’re a team and the baby, my baby, will be cared for.’ That mostly shut them up.

I hurried to prepare the house, our home, for Mary and our baby. Now we’re hurrying because the government came up with this census thing. We’ve walked 90 miles this week, I’m exhausted. She’s exhausted. I’m terrified because the baby is coming soon.

Oh no! The baby is coming! Mary is in pain, but she isn’t screaming like I’ve heard other women do. I want to scream. I’ve never done anything like this before – that’s what the midwives do. Lord, help me to know what to do. Also, Lord, forgive me for my ignorance and fear and help me to help her. Please keep us safe in this filthy place. Oh, why didn’t I get us a room!

She did it! I’m not sure how, but I prayed my head off. He’s here! He’s beautiful! He’s radiant.

I’m amazed at how magnificent they both are. My heart is bursting with love. I’m praising God along with all these weird shepherds that are running around us wanting a peek at Him. Where did they come from?

I’m laughing. I’m crying. I’m exhausted.

Is that angels singing? I must be delirious.

Mary is resting. It’s quiet now. Just the three of us plus a few cows and sheep huddled close to the fire. We’re all keeping Him warm. As terrified as I am, I’m thanking God over and over for this miracle. God asked me to trust Him. I did. This whole thing is amazing. Awe inspiring, really.

What a huge responsibility. Will I have enough money to provide for Him? Will I be able to teach Him anything? Am I up to the task? I hope so. Do I have to change diapers? I hope not.

As I look at this beautiful baby’s face, I am overwhelmed with love. I see His radiance all around us and the glow on Mary’s face. My faith is in God. I know He will protect me while I protect this beautiful little family. I’m going to be the best father ever. I’ll love Mary and Jesus until the day I die … forever.

I can’t fathom that this baby is the Savior of the World, but God told us that He is.

We’re gonna take this one moment at a time.

I wonder if He’ll call me Dad.

Mary Mahan-Deatherage is a freelance writer, brand designer and strategic planner.

MMD Creative is her flagship company specializing in branding and strategic planning for small businesses. She owns Spoken Women, a creative community bringing the Catholic perspective to the world through bold writing, podcasts, and art. Her blog, Divine, Clever, or Whatever is a Christ-driven endeavor to lighten your soul through her uplifting stories. Mary is a mom of two and Mimi to a pair of rambunctious grandsons. She and her husband, Greg, are enjoying their vibrant, amusing, busy empty-nester life in Dixon, Illinois in the 127-year-old Craftsman home where she grew up.,, 

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