Mary

I spent a great deal of time this week trying to figure out what I wanted to blog about.  I even had a draft that I wasn’t thrilled with all drawn up and ready for some revisions.  Today, on the way to school, it hit me.

Who inspires me?  Who do I look up to and strive to be like?

Mary

Mary was a young girl when Angel Gabriel appeared to her.  Gabriel delivered a message from God.  “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:30-33)

Mary, young and frightened did not understand how this could happen.  A virgin, betrothed to Joseph, the carpenter.  Did she run?  Did she freak out?  Did she reject this Angel of the Lord?  No, she faithfully replied, “I am the Lord’s servant, May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38)

Do you know any 14 year old girl who would react in this way?  Or respond in this way?

Do you know any woman today who would respond in this way?

Mary is the essence of faithfulness in God.  She portrays a woman who realizes the implications of what God is asking her, yet she readily accepts the invitation.  She knows she will endure ridicule and mocking from the towns people talking about her being with child out of marriage.  She may even be stoned.  She realizes that this could ruin her engagement.  She knows she will need to tell her parents that she is with child and that they may not believe her that she was visited by an angel and conceived by the Holy Spirit.  I mean, would you believe your 14 year old daughter if she told you this?

Still, with all of that ahead of her, she gracefully said yes.  Yes to God, yes to Jesus.  She had no idea what her life might look like years down the road.  She had no idea that her son would be a miracle worker or a teacher to the rabbis, that he would heal the sick and drive out the demons.   She did not know that her baby boy conceived of the Holy Spirit would be crucified in front of her just 33 years later.   If she knew all of this, would she have accepted God’s greater for her?  Maybe – maybe not.

Fear of what’s coming stands in the way of many women today.  Sometimes the fear is real and sometimes we conjure it up in our minds.  Mary was a perfect woman.  She was perfect in every way that God could have wanted her to be.  Of course, He knew that and that is why He chose Mary to be the mother of His only Son.  He knew she would not question His plan of salvation.  (Did she even know she was such an integral part of Salvation?)

I am sure Mary had her doubts and I am sure she made mistakes as well.   We are human, Mary included.  However, her faith in God and her unwavering trust in Him to lead her, Joseph and Jesus to where He needed them to be is what inspires me.  Not that she knew what to do.  That she didn’t know what to do and did it anyway.  Not that she had all the answers.  That she didn’t have any of the answers and gave it her best anyway.  Not that she was the mother of the year.  That she was a humble, poor, girl who never carried a child and birthed the Prince of Peace anyway.

These are the reason I look up to Mary.  These are the reasons as a woman today, I need to have steadfast faith and unwavering trust, like Mary did at 14.

Breath of Heaven – Mary’s Song

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Gearing up for Something Greater

I remember so vividly the Easter before my son died.  I remember so clearly thinking and saying, “Life is so great right now.  Everything is so perfect!” I felt blessed, lucky, happy.  Three days later my son was diagnosed with brain tumor and my world fell apart.  After feeling that life couldn’t get any better just days before, here I was in the bottom of a hole, trying to understand what was whirling around me.  I couldn’t make sense of it.

I have had several years to process these moments, 6 1/2 years to be exact.  The pain is still raw at times and I never stop missing my son.  However, I have come to many realizations.  My life, my perfect life 6 years ago was far from perfect.  It was full of busy, full of activity, full of friends and full of engagements.  What it lacked was time with God.  I believed in God and I never doubted His promises for me and my family, but I did not take the time to listen to Him or to read His Word.  I was too busy.

As I grieved my son and as I continue to grieve him, I have given myself an opportunity to slow down in my life.  I have even come to a halt at times.  I have allowed myself to “Be Still, and know that He is God.” (Psalm 46:10)  I have redefined “perfect” and “important” in my family’s life.  I have realized that God has plans for me and I was too busy to hear Him trying to talk to me.  I was satisfied with my mediocre plans that couldn’t be great if created only by me.  I learned that greatness comes through God alone.  Perfection is God alone.  Lucky doesn’t exist and happiness is a state of mind, not a life style.  Blessings are given freely to those who are willing to accept them.

These life lessons have helped me grieve.  They have placed a peace in my heart that cannot come from earthly things.  They do not negate the loss of my son, rather they embrace it and help me grow from it.  These lessons have redefined my life and have helped me put my priorities where they need to be, with God first and Family second, no exceptions.

My heart aches when I see others who have not figured out this beautiful gift yet, but I continue to pray for all.  I pray that others can learn to slow down and listen to God.  God has plans for each and every one of us that are Greater than we can even imagine!  God can help us through our trials, but we need to know how to stop and listen.  God can lift us up in good time and in difficult times.  He is always there, we just need to recognize this and accept it.

My life still has difficulties, just like yours does!  My daughter’s fight, everyday, my cat and dog wreck things and make me angry, my house is never clean enough and I am constantly doing laundry, grading papers and struggling to keep up with one thing or another.  The difference in my life now is that I recognize when I need to stop.  I recognize when I am piling on too much.  I recognize when I need to pray more and listen more.  And for that I am grateful!

God has Greater plans for me and  I will not miss out on them because I am too busy!  Are you ready for your Greater plans from God?

To join the GREATER Online Bible Study by Steven Furtick, visit www.MelissaTaylor.org to register.  It is FREE and FABULOUS! You won’t regret it!