The Nativity Post by Melissa

2020 has been hard to say the least. I think everyone could attest to this being one of the roughest years full of trials and frustrations. For some of us our 2020 actually began in 2018 or 2008 or our whole lives; and let’s be honest, we may not even have hope that the next 5-10 years will be any different. 

Many of us have posted 2020 woes on social media or at the very least shared a meme. It is very difficult to post every moment of our lives so most posts are highlights of our good and bad, but mostly good because that is how we want to remember; and let’s be real, that is how we want others to see us. 

2020 for me has been full of joy, struggles, and downright raw, painful events. I gave birth to my first child and he has consumed 98% percent of my time. When I get the chance to post, it is mostly about a baby milestone. But what the majority of my followers do not see are the sleepless nights, the trips to the doctor because something is wrong, the maybe once a week “real” shower with hot water and shampoo, the frustration of trying to take care of the house and work from home simultaneously. There are even events that honestly are just too painful to even want to post. And in the most vulnerable moments of chaos, the thoughts of, “Am I really in God’s will?” or “Did He put me in this position only to watch me struggle in another hardship?” rises to the surface of my mind. 

Because I have a child who is 3 weeks from his first birthday, I think a lot of what it was like for Mary, the mother of Jesus.  We have the “posts” in the Bible about the birth and the manger. We hear of angels singing and the wise men bearing gifts. But I wonder if Mary ever thought, “How can I raise this Son of God when I can’t even get him to sleep through the night?”, “We just got into a routine in our new home and now we have to leave our belongings and flee in the night to become refugees all because someone is trying to kill my son?”, “Is this what God really envisioned for my life?”, “Is it always going to be like this?”

The Bible picks up with a snapshot of a worried mother losing her 12 year old son and doesn’t post again until he is in his 30’s going to a wedding performing a miracle. Imagine all those years of joys and sorrows, confidence and doubt that we never get to see. And as her son grew and became the man God promised, she began to see those initial doubts disappear. 

I don’t think it was any easier for her though as he grew up knowing people hated him or watching him stumble to the hill where he would die. I’m sure her thoughts and prayers were the same as when all the hype of his birth subsided. But she got to see the beginning of a changed world because of everything she endured. Now I know many people can say, “But he is the Son of God and nothing was going to stop it”; but imagine for a moment if he was not. What a legacy to leave, raising a son who is still talked about 2000 years later. A son whose name causes riots and wars, who brings peace and comfort, who has so much power that it cannot be used on prime time tv as a curse word. 

Take courage my friend. This year, these moments will not last forever. You may question God and it’s okay. But know the big picture is in his hands. Don’t forget 2020, but let it be a reminder that greater things are to come. Work diligently to fulfill your calling. Merry Christmas!

-Melissa Atencio – Colmenero


Friends, I was seriously blessed when I read through Melissa’s message to us today. I’m so grateful for her perspective and for her support of the blog and this writing adventure of mine. I find myself reflecting over 2020 and sharing those same experiences that have made this season both different and challenging. I also find myself clinging to the hope that we have in Jesus just like Melissa talked about – because He sees the bigger picture. I thought it would be fitting that we share this song from Francesca Batestelli with you today. My prayer is that we have the same heart that is shared from the point of view as Mary, the mother of Jesus. I hope it encourages you as you move through this season. peace-liz:)

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