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I had never looked any closer at the circumstances or thought about what Mary must have been feeling when Jesus was born until January of this year, when I was heavily pregnant and stuck in Wuhan, China. We had decided months earlier that we would stay in Wuhan, where we lived and worked, to give birth to our child, and so we were counting down the days to the delivery when Covid-19 turned our world upside down. When Wuhan closed, we were left scrambling to get out of the city, eventually being evacuated by the British government when I was 37 weeks pregnant. I knew I would be well cared for and in safe hands, being in a world-class medical system.

It would have been very different than what Mary would have experienced. We don't know much about Mary, but I think we can all be confident that when she heard that she would be carrying the Son of God she probably expected to be in her home, surrounded by close family members while she brought the King of Kings into the world. Instead, she was forced to leave her home, travel 130 km to Bethlehem, to arrive and find nowhere safe or warm to deliver her son. She would have been uncomfortable, tired, and vulnerable, yet that is where and how God decided his son would enter our world.

I wonder if she took comfort in the fact that God was in control, that this was all part of his plan. Even when she was anxious, tired, overwhelmed and completely vulnerable, the long-awaited saviour was coming, despite the circumstances. We found peace through our adventure at the start of the year, knowing that it was all a part of God's plan. When we are weak, vulnerable, anxious, or worried, God still works and moves all around us.