The women of Advent: Drawing strength from our spiritual grandmothers

by Lindsay Hardin Freeman

Advent can be a wonderful mix of emotions: joy, delight and anticipation. Sometimes, however, as we prepare to celebrate the miracle of Jesus’ birth, we may find ourselves consumed with too many details, and even worse, sorrows of years past.

So, in this time of joyous anticipation and somber reflection, what to do about those mixed emotions? Look to the women of the Bible, especially the strong, bold, outspoken women directly connected to Jesus’ birth: Hannah, Mary, Elizabeth and Anna. Collectively they dealt with the death of a son, the death of a spouse, harassment, infertility, fear, anxiety and grief. Think of them as your spiritual grandmothers, your guides in traversing difficult ground. If we ignore their stories, we miss out on a literal host of resources — and just perhaps, a richer Advent.