So it’s over… what a relief.
I’m so glad I took Aunt Elizabeth’s advice. Go home after three months, when you’re over the morning sickness but before the bump starts to show; then you can choose the best moment to break the news.
I told Yosef first: he had the right to know, and I wanted him to hear it from me. He took it better than I expected – no shouting, no harsh words, but he was obviously totally bewildered. He just kept saying, “Why can’t you tell me the truth – do you think I would want to hurt you?” I can see that he thinks that I’ve been unfaithful to him while I was with Aunt Elizabeth up in Judaea. So in the end I just burst into tears, and he got up, slammed his fist against the doorpost, and walked out with a face like thunder.
My mother – quite to my surprise – was very calm about it. Not that she believed a word of my story at first, but when I said that Aunt Elizabeth (who’s one of the most virtuous people I’ve ever met) did believe me, she was amazed. So I explained how Elizabeth really was expecting a baby – a very special baby – and how she had known that I was pregnant before I had even told her, because her unborn baby started to dance in her womb the moment I entered her house. And how she and Zechariah had offered to give me a home if necessary, if Yosef called off the wedding.
Which he has done. I suppose it was only to be expected, but I had been hoping, in a corner of my heart… A few months ago, I was so happy; now it’s all gone.
Why didn’t I think to ask the angel what to do about this? Some men in Yosef’s position would have called out a lynch mob to stone me. I’ve got off very lightly, thank God… He must be looking after me – and the baby.
So it looks like I’ll be going back to Judaea very soon. When I get the official divorce certificate, and when we get word that Aunt Elizabeth’s baby has arrived, I’ll go “to help her with the new baby” – and just not come back. After that – well, as Elizabeth said, I’ll just have to trust that God will somehow work things out.