Magnificat: December 15, 2019

And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” – Luke 1:36-37

As I read this passage, I realized that Elizabeth and I had a lot in common.

We were both “old” when we conceived our babies. Old is a relative term, for Elizabeth, old may have been past her teens, for myself I was thirty-six and medically passing by my prime fertility window. I believe her culture may have pitied her, no children to help the family, take care of you when you are old and carry on the family genes so I can imagine her great delight in finding herself with child. “She said, ‘This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favorably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people.” For myself, I spent nine years without any birth control, painful, embarrassing, expensive medical procedures and tests with no viable pregnancies while watching my two brothers, sister and more than a dozen friends start or add to their families. I was miserable. angry and hard to live with.

I had a major meltdown in August 1984, one of many but this one was a doozy. Dennis and I had to euthanize our nine year old beloved cat Sam because of advanced cancer, I had what I thought was a nasty flu bug, I had blood drawn for the hundredth time for a pregnancy test and I finally hit rock bottom with my emotions and went behind our garage to have a major screaming fit at God. Ok, maybe I felt this was the way to get his attention. All these years, my feeble attempts praying to God for a baby hadn’t work. He wasn’t listening to me. He didn’t care.

Feeling very strange and tired, I went back inside my house and at 4:00 pm that afternoon, my doctor’s office called and Karen, his ARNP said: “you’re not going to believe this, you’re pregnant”. The call was life-changing, first, a case of the soft warm fuzzies, an uneventful pregnancy, a healthy baby boy and I sort of forgot about God. Life was busy, a baby, working full time and time just slipped by.

Then Dennis and I had a serious conversation about going back to church and baptizing our child and when Bayard was two years old, we joined St. Paul’s in Mount Vernon. On Easter Sunday, March 30th, 1986, our son was baptized.

This is how Dennis and I started our religious journeys. Dennis eventually joined the Order of Deacons, and I became a Eucharistic Minister and Visitor. With God’s help, all things are possible. Thanks be to God!

Thank you, dear Lord, for working in seemingly impossible situations for our good and for your purposes. Amen.
-Mary Ann Taylor