“Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God’…’For no word from God will ever fail.'”
Luke 1:29, 37
In light of Christmas, I wanted to share a follow up message from my last post I’m Graduating (https://womanoftheword.net/2020/10/06/im-graduating/). As the title suggests, I’m graduating! Four months left, I can’t believe it. Part of why I have been away longer than anticipated is because school is awfully time consuming, my apologies. But I have no regrets and I couldn’t be more thankful that God has brought me this far. One day I’ll share my school experience and testimony. Today, however, I want to shed light on how unbelievably stressful and exhausting the graduation process actually is. I thought it would be like coasting along a beach staring into the horizon but it’s more like maintaining speed on a winding road with no railing. The grades are pretty much in, the work is almost done, so what’s the problem?
The problem is the process of graduating. It requires elevation, separation, and determination like never before (and no, I didn’t just use those words because they sound nice together). Elevation because graduation requires you to think beyond your degree and university and stare directly into your future. You now have new goals to set that require higher thinking and living. Separation because you realize that the people, thoughts, dreams, and places that you thought would be with you forever are now moving in an opposite direction than you are. It’s not that anything is wrong with those people or things per say but who you have been and who you are becoming are now met at a crossroads, and some of those old people and things don’t get to cross over to the other side. Determination because you are probably fighting harder for your future than you’ve ever fought in your whole life. You are constantly hit with choices that will make or break the plans in your heart. And guess what? All of this is normal.
For about three days now I haven’t slept because of the life-altering opportunity that has been presented to me. It truly is wonderful news, but the decisions that I have to make don’t make it feel wonderful. Mary felt the same way I did. She was a young woman just like me; in fact, she was younger than I was and believed to be about fifteen years old when receiving the news about Jesus. She had desires, she had plans, and in an instant was given good news to change the course of the whole world. She was young and afraid, like me. I’ve been taught 2 Timothy 1:7 so much that it’s embedded into the deepest part of my being. “God has not given us a spirit of fear…” but hear I am trembling down inside. How can that be so if God didn’t design us to be afraid?
Fear comes on us but it doesn’t dwell in us. If you didn’t experience fear, I would question your humanity. I would even go as far as to say Jesus was a little afraid. He asked God to remove his duty of dying on the cross. To me, that speaks to His humanity in that he was afraid of the pain and suffering that He would endure for all mankind, even for those that HATED Him and still hate Him. Despite both of their human fears, they endured. They accepted the task, the burden, and the most of all the opportunity that would be for the benefit of the world and for the glory of God.
Like Mary, like Jesus, and like me, you’re human. You’ve probably experienced fear once or twice in your life, you might even be experiencing it right now. Maybe you have been presented with something greater than anticipated and you are afraid and unsure of what to do next. I implore you to do what Mary did and what Jesus did and trust God. Don’t roll your eyes at this part either, seriously. His word will not fail you. It might not always be smooth sailing (just look at Mary or Jesus) but the Lord is always with you. He will always provide for you, always protect you, and always be there until the very end. You will not fail because He will not fail you. The only wrong decisions are the ones made without Him. So be very bold and courageous, step out on faith, and trust that He’s got your back. While you trust, REST in His goodness and give thanks that He has entrusted YOU with such a great task.