I was seventeen and a senior in high school. T. and I had dated since the sixth grade. It had been an off and on relationship, but to my knowledge neither of us had ever had more than one date with someone else. It was nearly time for the big annual homecoming celebration. We’d talked about eventual marriage.
Then my world came apart. “I’m pregnant.” Two words that absolutely changed my life. “I’m pregnant.” There was absolutely no way that the child could be mine.
Today, more than 45 years later, they still ring loudly in my ears. Like Joseph and Mary, we had made a commitment to be chaste.
At this time of year I relate to how Joseph must have felt when he heard those words. I experienced the shock, the overpowering sense of betrayal. His world, like mine, had been unalterably changed.
Beyond this, I can’t relate my experience to that of Joseph. Within a month, I attended T.’s wedding. My trust and self-confidence were so shattered I became even more awkward with girls than I had been previously. Other than a rare one-time date for special events, I did not date again until I met my wife. Remnants of that experience are still with me today.
From that experience, I can so easily relate to the incredible faith in God that Joseph had. I can only imagine the love he had for Mary to consider, even with the message from Gabriel that this was God’s work, to go on to marry her and to become the earthly father of Jesus.
God had a plan for Joseph. Joseph could have said no. Instead, because of his faith, he stood with Mary to face the ridicule and scorn of the world to fulfill God’s plan.
As we near the celebration fo our Savior’s birth, give thanks for the faith and strength of Joseph.
Alive in The Word