Sometimes this crazy thing happens to me, words bubble up in me and they must leave my body. It’s an overwhelming feeling where I just have to sit down and get them to you. Even though we were in the middle of the Finish Well series, I am interrupting our program to share this message with someone who needs to hear this today. I don’t know who it is, but here it is.
“Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her.”Luke 1:45
There is a verse that I never noticed before in the bible from Luke 1:45. “Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her.” Another version says, “Blessed is she who believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.” It’s a statement made by Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist) to Mary ‘The Mother.’ Quick side note, you know you’ve graduated from any semblance of “Mom Guilt” when people just refer to you as “The Mother.” At first glance, it seems like Mary’s journey was a cake walk. I can assure you, no mother in the history of mankind, ever had a cake walk. No pressure Mary, have a baby conceived by the holy spirit (I’m sure that went over really well with your parents and church leaders). Your community will ostracize you for getting knocked up. Also, a political leader is conspiring to kill all babies. You may want to order an extra bottle of St. Johns Wort. Remember, you can’t take most prescription anxiety meds during pregnancy. You’ll of course struggle with the normal stresses, guilt and mistakes of motherhood, but it will be extra humbling because your kid is perfect. You’ll make mistakes. He won’t. Awesome – a know-it-all. Then fast forward a few years, other moms will reject you because your kid can do nothing wrong. Behind your back, you’ll be referred to as the “ultimate one-upper.” No moms in the PTO will be sharing their struggles with you. Good luck with all that Mary…the Mother.
While Mary doesn’t even quite know what she’s in for, Elizabeth has had her own struggles to deal with. Their culture expected one thing from a woman, produce children. Elizabeth struggled with infertility for decades. To this day, not being able to have a child is one of the hardest internal battles a woman can experience. Finally, Elizabeth was pregnant. We know Elizabeth was a woman of faith, and God was answered her prayers. She was going to be a mom. She went from the overwhelming feelings of disgrace, isolation, rejection and depression to stepping fully into the role she wanted all along, being a momma. And she was far enough along that she could feel the baby move. Thank God, she was past the “high risk” timeframe. But we all know, the fear of losing your baby never goes away, especially since she carried the weight of not being able to have a baby for decades. If I had to guess, her pregnancy was stressful.
Mary gets to Elizabeth’s house; I’m sure she’s feeling every emotion in the book. She’s excited and scared. She’s uncertain how it’s all going to go down. She’s knocked up. She’s unmarried. Is Elizabeth going to believe the whole Holy Spirit narrative and be supportive? Is Elizabeth’s husband going to be supportive? Mary walks in sees Elizabeth and immediately hears “Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her.” After all of Elizabeth’s pain and heartache and the stress of carrying a baby, Elizabeth chose to use her time with Mary to pour into her. Elizabeth’s stresses don’t go away but she builds Mary up. She reaffirms what Mary heard from the Lord. She instills confidence into her. She says “Mary, you’re blessed. You can do this. God chose you for this opportunity. Turn that frown upside down, someday soon, you’ll do the ultimate motherhood mic drop.” And you know what Mary does, she receives the encouragement. She needed to hear that. She says, “from now on, all generations will call me blessed.” In the worst way, Mary needed that affirmation from Elizabeth. She needed to hear that she was going to be more than alright. She was blessed just for believing God’s promises to her. She chose to believe that what God led her into was going to be good.
Ladies (and gentlemen, this message is for you too!), sometimes you’re in a season like Mary. But sometimes, you’re an Elizabeth. You’re going to have bad days and bad seasons, life is hard. But if God has walked with you through that season, make sure that you’re fully showing up for others that will come behind you. We can’t all be Mary’s waiting for someone else to speak life into us. Sometimes we need to step into our internal Elizabeth and just freaking change the dynamic in the room. Speak life and vision into other women. It doesn’t say, “Blessed is she who had a big title, or audience, or wealth or influence.” It doesn’t say, “Blessed is she that already has everything figured out.” It doesn’t say, “blessed is she that hasn’t experienced stress.” It doesn’t say, “Blessed is she who stays small and waits for full confirmation before stepping into your purpose.” It says, “Blessed is she who believed that what God called her to would be accomplished.” Your journey is different from mine. We’re not all called to do the same thing, thank God. God has called you to something. Believing is the hardest part but it’s time for you to believe him.
But also, it’s time for you to speak life into someone else. It’s time for you to Encourage Her like Elizabeth did. Never underestimate the power of your words in someone else’s life. Sometimes your words will remind her of the promises God already made. Don’t discourage her, don’t wade in anxiety with her. Speak life into her, affirm her, help her believe. Help her step into her blessing.
Christmas is magical. No matter how you celebrate it, there is magic in the story. God used regular people to do amazing things. You aren’t different from Mary. God is still using regular people to do amazing things. Step into your inner Elizabeth and speak life into someone else this holiday season. Step into your inner Mary and know you’re called to do great things, even if it feels hard. I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to share my work and words with each one of you. Be Blessed and Merry Christmas!
I see you. I love you. I’m cheering you on!