She was just a quiet teenager, betrothed like any normal young girl in the time, when an angel came and told her of her unbelievable destiny, and I’m sure she was afraid. It’s not like she could tell the scoffers and harassers that God was the father of the child. Joseph was expected to divorce her, loudly. The life she led was crammed full of heartbreak and adversity. Actually, most of the time she’s mentioned, it seems like Mary just couldn’t ever catch a break, and was constantly going through some sort of heartbreak.

But even still, she was filled with joy in her God.

It’s a bit of Christianese, but have you ever heard a phrase like “Don’t worry. God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”

I think phrases like that might be part of the reason there are people who constantly think God is either angry at them, or He is not a good God. Look around. There is such incredible heartbreak, very terrible things, happening around us on such a constant basis.

God loves me? He has a wonderful plan for me?

I have a friend who is currently battling a domestic abuse case in a foreign country, where the law favors the male, not the victim. Additionally, she recently also found out her ex-husband killed, dismembered, and then froze their dog in their freezer, but somehow, she is still battling this case after several months. Where’s God’s wonderful plan in this? Another friend of ours has been wondering for the past year when his wife will want to come back home. What I feel like is a really high number of my girlfriends have endured miscarriages this year. What was God’s great plan for their little’s life? So much heartbreak in one year in just my small circle, even than I mentioned! Turn on the news, look at human trafficking statistics, or any overcrowded orphanage or shelter. But don’t worry…God has a wonderful plan for every life, He loves every life dearly.

I think a closer look is needed.

As we look to our first Advent candle, we can look also to Mary – a treasure after her life while within it was a much different story. Her life is one where she did everything God wanted, had destined for her, and it was still wrought with consistent pain.

How hard of a pill would that have been for her to swallow if she had known?

How on earth did Mary find joy in serving her God? So much so, that we read about her joy-filled servitude 2,000 years later?

I think she clung to the first words she heard as she started her hard journey. “Mary, do not be afraid, for you are highly favored.”

I don’t know about you, but getting it from an angel that that’s what God thinks of me…would likely carry me through some things.

In a world where women’s self-esteem is often so low, and we run ourselves ragged with worry and duty…could we maybe take a cue from the mother of Christ and rest in the unwavering truth of what God thinks of us? What can you cling to in the stormy seasons?

Do you know this truth already? Join me in meditating on hearing it, in this first week of Advent.

Further, what is the truth of what your husband, your children think of you?

Find rest in it.

Through these words, Mary knew God had a plan for her, and He would carry her through it. She knew she was “highly favored”…nothing in that phrase meant life would be easy for her, but it meant that God would be with her, and she could count on it.

What is your unshakable truth you cling to?

Listen for its whisper.

Until you hear it, let me offer Romans 8:38-39 to you. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (ESV) God loves, He does not anger, He keeps no record of wrongs…He is good, in the bigger picture that we cannot yet see.

Mary’s life was full of heartache, and although we can see there was a plan for her today, she could not when she was in the thick of being a single mother to several children when women didn’t have rights, or while watching her eldest son be whipped and crucified upon a word. But I’m sure she clung to the knowledge that she was highly favored. Words spoken to her a lifetime past as a quiet teenager about to change history.

God loved her. He had a plan for her life. God does love you, and He does have a plan for you.

We only see one puzzle piece under a microscope at a time, but God sees the entire finished puzzle.

Cling to the unshakable truth of who you are in Him.

Meditate with me this week? Listen for that whisper? Have you heard it?

What are the truths from your own family? Ask them. Comment below to encourage.

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