I don't know how to start this...
I've written it over and over in my head but when I sit down in front of the keys, my fingers disconnect from my brain. I've written this post so many different ways, so many different styles learned from those whose writing I admire. What I cannot get away from is that I want to be real. What is swirling around in my heart is real. I want to be real so that you know what you read here is the same me that lives in the real world too.
My words are not often eloquent or perfect and all I can pray is that I am able to convey my heart in a way you can understand.
So...(deep breath!) on the drive to church on Sunday I turned on Christmas music. (It's December!) Mary Did You Know? came on the radio. I have heard this song many times and find it to be beautiful. This Sunday though the tears began rolling down my cheeks. I was trying very hard to not look like a complete sap! I felt the Lord impress on my heart "they are singing about her because she said yes, you know". I don't know how to explain it with words but the few short minutes of our drive to church became a holy moment for me.
You have to understand. I believe in the supernatural. I believe in a God who walks with and speaks with his children today. He isn't distant to me, but always with me. I have seen him do some pretty amazing things in the lives of others and I long for him to move in and through me. He began showing me in a very short time a few things I had not really completely understood before about the birth of Jesus. It completely undid me. I mean, by the time we got through worship at church I gave up and just started crying! I didn't know what to do with the sense of holy surrounding me!
In those moments of pondering Mary's "yes" and in the days since then, this is what has broken me.
She said yes.
God sent an angel to Mary, who was probably a teenager, and told her she was going to be the mother of his son; who would be the savior of the world.
Now understand, Mary was engaged, and from all accounts, her fiance was a really decent guy. In the time Mary lived the punishment for being pregnant out of wedlock was stoning. Her fiance would be fully within his rights to break the engagement and have her stoned.
Mary stood to lose everything. Her reputation, respect, her fiance, a future, her family and friends. But God saw something in her that drew him and he chose her to raise his son.
Mary could have said no. She could have argued and been justified in her fear. Justified in wanting to sit in the safe place life had put her. But she said yes to God without understanding it completely. She said yes, because she put her faith in the one doing the asking.
From that moment, I don't think her life was anything like she expected. Her fiance, through angelic intervention, chose to believe the angel's message concerning Mary's baby and married her. (Side note! She surrendered EVERYTHING to God and he gave her back the very thing she knew she could lose by choosing God first! God is Good! He delights to give us the best!)
In the condensed version, Mary and her husband Joseph had to flee for the life of God's son shortly after his birth. They spent several years away from everything they knew to protect Jesus' life. Many years later Mary and her successive children went to get Jesus because she thought he was out of his mind with what he was preaching and saying! Then she stood and watched Jesus crucified. I cannot fathom her agony.
Mary held onto God's promise though, and God adjusted her understanding throughout her life. In the end, she was praying with the rest of the disciples for the Holy Spirit to come after the joyous announcement of Jesus' resurrection!
She saw Jesus perform more miracles than we can count. She saw the power of God firsthand. She had a front row seat for what God was doing and even she didn't always get it! Take hope in that!
Mary paid a price and she didn't totally understand the cost or the price in the process. Oh what she would have missed if she had said no!
God still speaks today. He still wants to love on humanity the way that Jesus did when he walked this earth. Jesus came so that we could understand how great God's love is for us.
All through history God has called to humanity and asked if we would do what he was asking. More often than not the majority find the cost too high. The fear too great. The excuses easy and justifiable in the name of common sense.
The Bible is a history book full of His-story. Full of what he has done for people who choose to trust him fully with themselves. When we say yes, he writes our story into His-story. Big or small those yes' have impacted the course of history.
Mary had so much to lose. I have never faced that type of a decision. Yet, daily, I battle the promptings in my heart to write a letter, call someone, look someone in the eyes and see them through the eyes of their Father. I have feared ridicule, I've feared what others would think of me.
I have feared.
God does not live in fear. He is perfect Love. When I obey his prompting to see with his eyes; speak from his heart; be real; and humble; and walking by grace alone?
The world changes.
Heaven comes to earth.
He sees the future and knows far better than I, what a difference obedience to him will make.
That's my challenge. Mary said yes, because she trusted God to know what he was doing. Will I say yes when he challenges my fear, my insecurity, my comfort?
Mary got to kiss the face of God because she said yes.
I have no idea what God will let me be a part of through every "yes" I give him.