Friends, I’m excited to introduce you to Dolly today. What a gift she has been to me. She’s a blogging buddy turned real-life friend that is actually willing to talk to this introverted soul via phone!
Her words warm my heart and make me think every time. Will you please give her a warm welcome?
Dolly–lead the way:
Are you willing to give up control to your life, like Mary? Your reputation? Your womb?
The first time I heard Francesca Battistelli sing “Be Born In Me,” my heart identified with this stanza:
I am not brave
I’ll never be
The only thing my heart
can offer is a vacancy
This touched me as I thought of how brave Mary was to give up control of her womb to God. She let the Spirit implant His life in her (Luke 1:26-38).
She first opened up her heart, then her womb to Jesus. In this most intimate surrender, she gave control to God without knowing the final outcome. Such trust.
And before my head agrees
my heart is on its knees
Holy is He
Blessed am I
Here, she was an unwed pregnant teenager, and she would still be, when she gave birth to Jesus.
Mary gave up control over her relationship with Joseph. She trusted God to smooth things over with her betrothed, Joseph.
Can you imagine Mary telling Joseph that she is still a virgin but an angel told her that she had been chosen for the honor of bearing the Messiah? And now, she is pregnant. Honest.
If I was Mary, I might have tried to explain the unexplainable to Joseph. But Mary did not.
When Joseph learned Mary was pregnant, he intended to quietly divorce her. Then an angel of the Lord told him, in a dream, to not be afraid of marrying her because the Child was conceived of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1: 25).
She didn’t try to manage or control other people’s perceptions of her. What would her family, friends, and village think of her? Even years later, there were rumors of Jesus being illegitimate.
If it is hard to be an unwed pregnant teen today, it was at least a hundredfold harder 2000 years ago. In Israel during Mary’s lifetime, it was socially, and culturally unacceptable to be an unwed pregnant woman.
Yet Mary didn’t let other people’s perceptions control her. She fully rests in God’s control of the situation.
I wonder, if she figured, since she was carrying the Messiah, He could begin saving her now by taking care of her problems.
After all, these problems came as a result of her open surrender and obedience to God’s will. This tells me I can expect some bumps in the road when I obey God.
Nor did she demand that God give her a five-year plan. She gave up any illusion of controlling her future. Her humility and trust leave me breathless.
Yet Mary’s story also reveals a joy and love is born that makes her surrender worth all the struggle (Luke 1:46-55).
I’ll hold you in the beginning
You will hold me in the end
Every moment in the middle,
Make my heart Your Bethlehem
Be born in me
“Be born in me, Jesus” is my prayer this Christmas.
Whenever I have given up control of my fears to Him, He has birthed new courage to act despite my fears. As I reflect on all the new experiences and friendships God has birthed because I said “yes” to blogging, Twitter, and recently, to Facebook and Instagram, I am amazed.
Over the past several years, as I struggled to give a few painful relationships into His hands through prayer, God birthed a new peace in my heart. Of course, I still have difficult moments, but His presence and peace are showing up more and more. Grateful.
As I surrender control, He surprises me by filling more of my heart with Himself.
Nothing is impossible for you, Dear God.
I want all of Your Love,
Your compassion, and
mercy to be born in me.
How about you? What phrase struck you as you listened to “Be Born in Me”? How have you experienced Jesus being born in you? What is an area or relationship that you can surrender control to God?
Thank you, dear Nikki, for the honor of being invited to guest post. Your friendship, prayers, and Spirit-filled words bless me richly, and so many, as you point to Him.
Thank you, dear reader, for being part of my journey to Bethlehem this year.
An idea for going deeper: I recommend listening to “Be Born in Me” while reading the lyrics on the video, then listening again with your eyes closed. After listening in this manner, write down what struck you.
Don’t edit yourself. Just free write, then read. See what God shows you.
God’s beloved child,
wife, mom to sweet girl, writer.
Lover of time alone with God, her family, and friends.
Passionate about prayer,
and making a difference –
one small thing at a time.