Updated: Dec 7, 2020
When I accepted the commission to write Mary: A Star is Born (Originally titled Treasures in Uncertainty) for the North River church of Christ in Marietta GA, I was daunted to tackle this amazing pillar of a woman, who I viewed as practically perfect. At such a young age she was full of pure faith, and she continued to live out of her faith through extreme trials for the rest of her life. Surely I can't really imagine what being the mother of Jesus must have been like...
But, I think she would want us to understand her, to relate to her.
While in the writing process, I uncovered similarities between us - of desires and hopes, of fears, of a young experience of faith.
This year, though I'm not performing the show live (catch it virtually HERE on the Youtube premiere!), I'm finding more ways to connect with her legacy.
T.J. and I just moved, as many of you already know. We are SO very thankful to be in our first house, to have a place to make our own and to welcome others into. Anyone who has moved or been a first time home owner knows well the crazy schedule and list of to-dos that come along with these fun but crazy transitions. So, while we are in the process of getting settled, I'm having to force myself away from my grand plans of painting and decorating to stop and reflect, to remember what is important, and to operate out of joy instead of stress.
Easier said than done.
Even in this picture, my sweet husband was battling the frustrations of weak nails that happened to come with his plans for Christmas spirit. He showed them who was boss. :)
Mary moved, too. First temporarily to Bethlehem- on donkey-back, no less. Then back to Nazareth. Then to Egypt- in the middle of the night- and with a little one.
She didn't have months to plan her home or the ability to take much with her. They left for Egypt in a hurry and had to start their lives together with a very young child- in a foreign land.
I'm not yet a mother, so I can only start to imagine all the aspects of early motherhood made more challenging by her situation. I assume we start by adding a whole bunch of physical, mental, and emotional stress to the mix.
I think I can safely say Mary's transitions were a bit more dramatic, exhilarating, and stressful than mine. So, whatever helped her in her transitions I'm sure can help me, too.
So what did help her?
Luke 2 says Mary treasured up in her heart the events that occurred around Jesus' birth- the angels' appearances, Joseph's dream and the flight to Egypt, the arrival of the Magi...I believe what she treasured were the assurances of her faith:
assurances that God had indeed chosen her to be a part of his story of redemption
assurances that God was working and fulfilling his promises to his people
assurances that all her struggle was for a purpose
assurances that God saw her and loved her.
I feel amazement when I try to imagine how Mary must have felt about being chosen by God. But do I feel just as amazed when I think about my own calling? (Not without some thought, hence- the reason I need to stop and think about it.)
Though her calling was specific to bearing and raising Jesus, the call for the rest of us is still personal and powerful.
We are chosen to be a part of God's redemption story for the world.
We have his assurances that he is working to fulfill his promises.
We have assurances that our struggles will be used for good.
We have assurances that God sees and loves us, of which the greatest is Jesus, in the flesh, sent to be born, to live, and to die to show us what eternal life in this world looks like.
What are your assurances?
No, we may not have stories of angels speaking to us or stars marking our birthing room, but we do have stories of how God has worked in our lives; how he has called us; how he has used others to love, guide, and teach us; and we have his Word, through his Son, his Spirit, and in written form.
What scriptures are you treasuring this season?
Here's one of mine- about a different Mary.
I need this verse more than I can say. I haven't mentioned yet all the other facets of life right now God is using to prune us- T.J.'s challenging work schedule, challenges in relationships, and the typical challenges of life in 2020. All of these can pull my focus from the one GOOD PART that really matters, that won't be taken away. I have to think Mary the Mother of Jesus was focusing on the good part as she was treasuring these moments in her heart.
If you've read this far, I hope you already have in mind something God has showed you that you are clinging to in your heart. May it bring you peace and joy this season. May you find the good part that won't leave you wanting come the new year.
Want another opportunity to connect with Mary and think about your treasures?
I'm excited to announce a virtual Youtube premiere of my show, Mary: A Star is Born that will up for 2 weeks (Dec 13-27) to watch at your convenience!
Tickets are only $5, AND you'll also get access to a behind-the-scenes zoom where you can hear more about the making of the show and ask me questions.
I hope you'll join us! Get your ticket here.