Oh. I must catch my breath! Did I truly see such a magnificent creature and live? I paled. My heart pounded as the mighty angel, dressed in a flowing white robe with searing eyes that pierced my soul.
”Greetings, thou favored one. The Lord is with you!” he announced with power and authority.
My legs shook. I had to sit. But instead, something obliged me to knee at his feet.
”Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”
He must have sensed my worry and fear. Something compelled me to raise my head and look into the angel’s compassionate eyes.
”Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
Wait. What? The string of words was a blur. All except two.
”No!” I wanted to say. ”I can't. I'm only a poor Israelite maiden. Not yet married. Only betrothed.”
But just then, a spirit of peace enveloped my soul, wrapping its fingers of love, truth and beauty around me. I had nothing to fear. . .
These were the words that came to me after hearing an In the Market podcast featuring Daniel Darling who wrote The Characters of Christmas.
I had already chosen my word of the year CONTENTMENT, but something the author said made me read the Bible passage again. As I did, it occurred to me that Mary, although the angel's message was unbelievable, was content with what God had willed for her life.
Hmmm. I wonder how she would have reacted. I played with the thought for a few minutes, and then, the little narrative above came to me. Nothing profound. Nothing new. Only a heart-felt interpretation of the momentous occasion.
Recalling my attitude this past year, I realized it was filled with comparisons, jealous feelings and insecure thoughts. I was anything but content.
I had spent hours contacting bookstores, schools and other similar venues to request a visit or signing. Since my debut novel The Heart Changer released April 26th, I have been busy with my book launch, social media posts and connecting in general with author venues around me.
I had chosen my word for 2019 well: PERSEVERANCE, knowing I'd need an almost unlimited supply of it after The Heart Changer was released. And what did I get (in general) for my hard work?
Well, that's not quite accurate. There were a few school visits, a coffee shop booksigning, and participation in a panel at the Evangelical Library Conference. All of which were a real encouragement as I shared my author's journey, which is why I want to reach out to my readers in the first place. They need to know they can be the heroes of their own stories in so many ways. It's an attainable goal.
So, how will CONTENTMENT play out in my life this year? Like Mary, I want to be content with what God brings my way in 2020. I don't want to strive in my own power, on my own schedule, and in my own way. As you see, that can bring little result. Unless He is in the plans.
I want to REST in His will for my life. That doesn't mean I won't be actively looking for ways to connect with my readers. It does mean I won't fight when plans fall through, or my calls are never returned. I won't push my agenda; only wait for God to open doors. Because when He opens them, they fling wide.
Maybe I need some downtime to write and take courses, and work on my social media posts. And concentrate on the two blogs I'm guest posting on monthly. Those literally fell into my lap. And that's how I know my Heavenly Father is behind it.
How about you? Is discontent creeping slowly into your life, affecting the way you work, or relate to others? Is it straining your relationship with God? Let me know in the comments below.
Will you be content like Mary with what is given you, or will you fight all the way against a perceived injustice? It's your choice!
My MG Biblical fiction "The Heart Changer" debuted in 2019 with Ambassador International.