As Christmas approaches, my heart automatically turns to one of my favourite women in the Bible. That woman is Mary, the Mother of Jesus. She and I have connected time and time again as I’ve taken time to process, pray, and “ponder things of God and treasure them in my heart” (Luke 2:19, 51).
Mary and I connect on so many levels:
There have been times when I’ve wrestled with my identity in Christ. I’ve been greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting and invitation He’s extending to me. I’ve questioned the Lord’s calling in my life. I have felt like He’s chosen the wrong person.
I’ve used Mary’s words, “But how can this be?” seeing as……” and I go on to explain all the excuses why this can NOT be! Giving Him every reason why I cannot possibly do what He’s asking of me (Luke 1:34). That’s when all my deepest fears and inadequacies come pouring out: the fear of failure, rejection, and “not-enough-ness”.
Through Mary’s example I’ve learned:
Fear of the unknown is a very real thing. It is debilitating, paralyzing and stifling. And sadly, if we give into it, we’ll NEVER know the good that can come out of it. We will never know what “could have been” if only we hadn’t given into our fears.
I could never have guessed where the Lord would lead me to fulfill my calling: church conflict, burnout, ministry to pastoral couples dealing with all kinds of challenges, painful ministry transitions, the demands of hurting churches full of hurting people, and perhaps most profound of any of the above; the death of my own 19-year-old son after a year of battling leukemia. Whatever has been involved in my calling I’ve learned the importance of turning my misery into ministry.
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple and Dancing in the Rain. Additionally, she has written articles for Just Between Us Magazine and devotionals for theStory. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (3 on earth, 1 in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
To book Lisa for a weekend retreat or day conference contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org