Sometimes we’re asked to do some very brave things, things that we would never choose to do on our own but because of circumstances we are called to step out of our comfort zone for a greater good.
Have you been in a situation, perhaps recently, where your capacity for coping has been stretched to the max? We reach a point where we collapse and ask God how we can possibly have the strength to continue. What is the point of this trial, this suffering? Why can’t things be easier, why must this time or situation or problem be so extremely difficult? Whether its troubled teenagers, a hospitalized spouse, financial uncertainty, a strained marriage, or depression -life can be overwhelming.
Ladies, I cannot help thinking of Mary. She graciously accepted one of the most challenging things ever asked of a woman. Then again, the peace of God must have rested in her heart as she moved forward with the responsibility of being the mother of God’s son. Despite the ridicule and shame of being an unwed mother, I imagine that she had a quiet confidence as she carried Jesus in her womb. With her belly swelling in the passing months, perhaps she had unshakable faith that ,as part of God’s will, everything would be fine in the end. Personally I would have been rather freaked out knowing that I was responsible for God’s son. But Mary, I think she was made of firmer stuff, even at such a young age.
The lesson I take away from how Mary responded to God’s request of her, being the mother of Jesus, is that I need to have faith that these brave things we are called to go through are ones we are not meant to face as Lone Rangers. We are not left alone and abandoned -not by God- when Goliaths or floods or affliction or challenges come. I know Mary did lots of leaning during her time as a mother, leaning on God’s promises and his character. She realized that, especially as a parent, she had her responsibility and God had his -and unlike how I often act- she wasn’t going to try to take over God’s job or tell him how he ought to be doing things. She just trusted.
Mary was brave, not just when she carried the Son of God as an unwed mother, but all through raising him and on through his brutal crucifixion. Hers was a life of faith. She was constantly called to be brave, to trust God’s plan, to hold on to his promises when she saw her baby ridiculed, hated and mocked -even tortured. Her reward? Seeing her son raised from the dead, resplendent in glory, and receiving the gift of eternal life.
I want to be like Mary. A woman who shines through adversity, one who trusts and leans on God during heartbreaking and patience-exhausting times. God knew that Mary could handle this awesome task -but not alone. He stuck by her even more than she stuck by him. Can’t you just imagine Mary leaning into God, asking, “How can I do this?” Wrapping love around her, he tells her to rest. He’ll give her the strength, he says.
He tells the same thing to each of us. In this heartbreaking or exhausting time, my dear sisters, you are called to be brave, but -more importantly- you are called to rest and be refilled. May God shine through you during this time as you release your worries, your need for control, and most importantly your fear as you let God be God and you his daughter.
Merry Christmas, all of you Uncommon Women.
With Much Love,