In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. 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.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her. Luke 1:26-38
Dear Aunt Elizabeth,
Just a fast note to say the pains have begun. I am terrified and excited, missing Mama and you terribly at this moment. Joseph has left me alone for a time, to get us some provisions. We couldn't find a room wherever we went, but these people had pity on us and let us stay in their barn. It is rough but they cleaned it nicely for us and put down new straw everywhere. Their animals are grazing outside, and since the weather is good, they probably will stay outside. The inkeeper's wife, who is named Phoebe, has been so kind. She has sent for the wise woman and the midwife to help me through this. Joseph has no idea what to do, besides squeezing my hand too tight!
Auntie, I said yes to God and I want to keep saying yes, but I am so scared. And the pains are regular and overwhelming. The angel said nothing is impossible with God. Yes, I agree. I only wish that our Lord had found a way to relieve me of this intense cramping. Oh, dear, here come the women to help.
I must go and let them in before another pain comes. May God be in the midst of this and make me strong despite my tears.