When I read the story of the birth of Christ, that is the one line that speaks to me more than any other. When the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was to bear the son of God, she accepted that her Father in heaven had chosen this role for her. She was a young woman, probably nervous about her upcoming marriage, and suddenly told that she would carry a child. She would probably face severe prejudice for not holding on to her chastity and had to face the fact that things would be extremely difficult. And yet she still said, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord”.
I have faced a difficult past year. I had a miscarriage, had extremely stressful times in my marriage, have dealt with severe periods of depression and am now realizing that this may be my dad’s last Christmas. Even with all this going on, being a handmaid to the Lord has been a struggle for me. I know that following the principles laid out for me in the Scriptures are the way to happiness and contentment. Yet for some reason, I can’t even do the bare minimum. I do nothing blatantly wrong but I don’t strive to fulfill the covenants I have made with Heavenly Father. I know that I’m not living up to my potential as a child of God.
In the coming year, I will try to overcome my weaknesses and dedicate myself to continuing on the path with eternity in mind. I know the biggest obstacle I have to overcome is letting my depression keep me from doing things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father. I will attend church regularly, pay a full tithe, serve others and keep in mind always that blessings abound for those who are obedient. I will remember that, even though those blessings may be few on earth, they will be showered upon me after my mortal existence.
I need to remember to be a handmaid.