I was alive to witness the beginning of what you all call Christmas today. It was the most wonderful and joyous occasion of my life, only seconded by the time when I married the love of my life, my heartthrob. The wonder and joy of this second occasion was however short-lived. One day, something that changed the entire trajectory of what I had hoped would be a long lasting marital bliss occurred. The death of my husband.
I married him at a young tender age, I had never ‘known’ a man before nor had I ever loved any man. We both loved each other and had great plans for our marriage, our family. We had talked about our children, how many we desired, how we wanted to raise them, the kind of children we desired for them to be and how we would grow old together.
We were happy and everyone could see how much we loved each other. We never thought we would live without each other…
Marriage in our time was taken a lot more seriously than it mostly is now. It was considered a very serious and sacred a covenant, not just between man and woman but between a man, a woman, and God. Divorce was very hardly as prevalent as it is today. Man and wife stuck together and feared God too much to take their vows trivially.
We both believed and understood this so we never considered, imagined, or discussed being away or apart from each other. We didn’t consider death because God had promised us a long, full life and we were certain we didn’t have early death to worry about.
The Enemy I Never Prepared For
Death came, and my husband was separated from me. To say I was devastated is a great understatement, several times it felt like my young heart would explode from pain and grief, the pounding from my heart was so loud I could hear it even in the midst of a crowd. Sleep was not anywhere near my pain stricken tired body, my life and world seemed like they were about to collapse… every morning for several weeks I was surprised that I was still alive.
What was I supposed to do with my life now? What about all the plans we made, the dreams we shared, growing old together? No child had even been born for me to bring up like we had planned. No son to live on for Him. I was very unhappy that I lost the only man I had ever given my heart to, sharing only seven short years with him when I had hoped we would grow very old together.
Only those who were very sensitive could see any hint of what I was thinking, feeling or going through, I always put up a strong front whenever people were around and even spoke words of encouragement to those who came to mourn with me. Pity is something I detested.
My Despair Drove Me Further To God
He is Elohim, The God of my fathers, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. My Grand-Father Asher had taught me a lot about Him and knew He always had the best intentions for His children. My trust in God was intact, but the pain and sadness were real.
However as the days turned into weeks and I poured my heart to Him like King David did while he hid from Saul in the cave;
I pour out my concerns before God; I announce my distress to him. Psalm 142:2 CEB
I felt stronger, more peaceful, and darkness gave way to light in my soul. My hope was stirred up again, my joy was restored and I felt a sense of purpose. I resumed going for worship, fasting and praying with even more intensity and commitment than in the beginning. I was not interested in marrying again, I have loved my husband, now Elohim is both Father and husband to me, I was satisfied. I spent the most part of my everyday in the temple, most people did not understand it but that was my calling, I am called to be a Prophetess and I was not going to let what had happened stop me from fulfilling my purpose.
Almost all my family members wanted me to remarry, some had ‘found’ great suitors for me… some men had tried to convince me I shouldn’t be alone… the priests tried to tutor me on how I was ‘breaking’ tradition by the way I had chosen to live and the amount of time I was spending in the temple. I didn’t want to remarry, I didn’t think I could ever really love any other man and I didn’t want to put any one in a miserable marriage. I was content with serving God the way I did. No one could change my mind… not even the priests. I knew what God wanted me to do.
As I grew older, many expected that I would slow down in fasting and praying and in the number of times I went to the temple. But when they saw that I had against all odds refused to remarry, they knew better than try to bother me any more.
I Had A Secret Desire
My Father Phanuel had often told us about how God spoke through Prophet Isaiah that A Messiah, A Saviour would be born to us. One who would bring peace, joy and hope to us. One who would bear our griefs and carry our sorrows, one who would suffer for us and bring us healing… I desired, hoped and prayed that I would live to see that day.
Every single day I waited, I hoped, I prayed… I wanted to witness that glorious day when our saviour would be born unto us.
Suffice it to say that was all I lived for, to behold my saviour before I join my husband.
God Granted My Heart’s Desire.
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart. Psalms 37:4 AMP
After what seemed like a never ending wait, after eighty-four years widowhood, it dawned on me that God had graciously answered me and granted my heart’s desires.
Our saviour was born, in the most unusual circumstances, and while many doubted that He was the one, I knew in my spirit that He was.
I was elated, I was alive to witness this great happening! Oh how I wish my husband had been here to see this day…
I couldn’t wait to see Him, I would have to plan a visit, maybe take some gifts along. I hope Mary, His young mother will be open to welcome me. I didn’t want to bother her I knew she needed all the time she could get to get stronger after childbirth. But I do need to go see my young Messiah, God has really honoured me by answering my prayer. This is a historic period for my nation both spiritually and Physically and I am overjoyed to be part of it.
This day I had reentered the temple to find that God did not just wait for me to go to my Saviour, He brought Him to me. I didn’t have to travel to Nazareth anymore, God had spared me the journey and brought Him to me in Jerusalem.
Right before me in the temple was my saviour in Simeon’s arms. His parents awed by the powerful words of prophecy coming forth from Simeon concerning their child. He was already eight days old and His parents had come to present Him to The Lord as it is written in the law of Moses and to offer a sacrifice according to God’s law.
I scampered to join the small group and also gave thanks to God. I worshipped and adored Him for sending us The Messiah and for honouring me in this magnanimous way. My excitement knew no bounds. I have see The Messiah!
I couldn’t contain this! I had to share it! I had to tell the entire Jerusalem that I had seen The Messiah. Those looking for redemption must hear this. I have seen The Messiah!
What you call Christmas today began thousands of years ago, in a small town of Bethlehem in Judea.
I beheld Him, I encountered Him, and most importantly, I shared Him!
Culled from Luke 2:21-38
The birth of Our Messiah, the birth of our saviour. We, like Anna, must tell everyone around us that we do not celebrate Santa, or elves, or reindeers, or trees or lights. (I am not against trees or lights)
We celebrate our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who was born to save us from sin and judgement. To save us from sickness, shame, poverty, pain and all evil. To grant that we have free access to God The Father, and that we spend forever worshipping Him and reigning with Him.
Christmas is about the birth of our Saviour. While we enjoy all the Wonderfull blessing that come with this season, all the Celebrations, the reunions, the food and the drinks. Let us never lose sight of Who and what it is really all about. Above all, let us;
Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere,
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born
Will you keep in mind whose Birthday it is this Christmas?
Will you tell others about Him?
Merry Christmas family!
Copyright© Ugochi Oritsejolomisan 2017
Photo Credit: Louis Blythe