This short video from Speak Life shares a brief but beautiful insight into the life of a mother and her daughter Leeva, who has Down’s syndrome. Leeva is taking part in a Nativity play, and all her cast-mates also have Down’s syndrome. It is explained that the play will have some actors speaking lines, while others will mime. Between shots of the play, Leeva’s mother talks about how much her daughter has taught her about life.

“In my old view, before she taught me, I thought she would lack. She’s not lacking,” Leeva’s mother said. When Leeva was born, she shares that she was “overwhelmed with grief at the loss. I thought, my beautiful baby has got Down’s syndrome, and it’s such a disaster”.

But Leeva’s mother looked to Mary: “of all she goes through.

“…All she goes through. It’s not her plan, it’s God’s plan- she just goes with it. She’s humble, she’s calm, she’s reassured by the fact that everything is going to be ok.”

Many things in our life can feel like a disaster at first. Indeed, Mary’s own unexpected pregnancy could have felt as though it was cutting totally across the trajectory of her life’s plan. But our lives are God’s plan, which means that while they may feel full of one thing after another that is shockingly unexpected, they are still held safely in the Father’s hand. What is required of us in these times is trust, which isn’t a sentimental, empty kind of wishing, but a real, solid abandonment of our fears and worries into God’s hands, allowing Him to revolutionise our way of thinking- always for the better.

As Leeva’s mother explained, “God didn’t give me a straightforward answer of why this happened. It took time for me to realise that God’s answer wasn’t so much what was wrong with Leeva as there was something wrong with the way I was thinking….

What we learnt was that God was with us, God suffered with us. And He gave us the most beautiful child, and there was no reason for me to grieve… or compare her, or feel sorry for her.”

The video finishes with the manger scene, in which every emotion of joy, surprise and happiness is perfectly portrayed by the actors. Their life and message show us that there is so much more for everyone than the negativity that can often surround a diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome.   The narrator reminds us very clearly that Christ “shared in our weakness and meekness and mess and still he embraced us nevertheless. If you’re feeling rejected, excluded, a stranger, remember the one who came down to the manger.”

I know the plans I have for you nativity
Questions to Reflect On:

Is there an area in my life where I could be more open to God showing me a different perspective on it? 
What in my life, big or small, have I seen as a disaster that has turned out to be a blessing? How has God showed me that?

What area of my life can I ask God to help me have more trust in Him over?