She didn’t need a positive pregnancy test to tell her what she already knew.
She was pregnant.
And it wasn’t going to go well with her parents, her friends, or even her fiancé.
Motherhood has a way of interrupting plans.
She had been planning a wedding full of joy with a husband she esteemed, a party with her friends and anticipating raising a family, and all of that seemed off kilter now.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a blessed woman indeed, but don’t think for a second, that the gift inside her—the gift for all of us—wasn’t costly. Mary had planned a normal, safe life, and certainly didn’t expect to have those plans interrupted.
Can we all agree that motherhood has CHANGE OF PLANS built right into it?
It begins with birth plans. Do you remember that thing you said would govern how you would respond in childbirth? Yea, mine flew out the window after 18 hours of labor.
Your change of plans could be sick kids when you really wanted, no needed, to be somewhere. Your curveball may be the special needs child that leaves you drained and without answers, or that gifted child that’s just a little too smart for her own good. It might be that it was all going according to plan and then that child stunned the life right out of you with his wayward heart when all you ever wanted was for him to love Jesus.
It would be easy for us to dehumanize Mary’s crisis and assume she saw the end of her story just like we do, or strip from her the emotions she must have felt. The whispers, the disbelief of everyone around her, and even the disappointment in her fiancé’s eyes. The first person who responded with joy about her pregnancy announcement was Elizabeth, her cousin, who was experiencing a change of plans of her very own.
In Mary’s moment of crisis and motherhood curveball, she made one choice, the one that can transform every motherhood trial. Mary praised.
And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is from generation to generation…..” Luke 1:46-50
Mary knew the secret that can rewrite every story. Hard, confusing, scary moments are a powerful time to praise God.
While she could have said, “No one understands. I can’t do this.” And even, “This isn’t what I was hoping for.” Instead, Mary offered a sacrifice of praise. She said, “My soul rejoices in the Lord, my spirit rejoices in my Savior.” And then she begins to praise God for the attributes she knows.
My God looks at me, and he sees me. He is merciful, faithful, eternal and strong. He values the humble, but He is powerful, more powerful than all the rulers of the earth. And He always keeps His promises.
This secret of praise rewrote everything, because praise in the hardest of times is supernatural, enabled by the God we know. Praise is memorable. In fact, for all time we call this song of praise The Magnificat because God is always listening and remembering our sacrificial boasting in Him.
Finally, Mary’s praise gave us the language to rewrite all of our motherhood stories because praise changes our perspective. It gives us an eternal vantage point, and considers the God who has this whole thing under control.
When your whole world warps and sways, and this motherhood thing is not quite what you had planned, what if you tried PRAISE first? What if you took one deep breath and started right here.
My soul magnifies the Lord.
It just might rewrite your situation as well.
Lee Nienhuis is an Area Coordinator from West Michigan and a Storyteller for Moms in Prayer International. She and her farmer-husband, Mike, have four terrific kids that make her need Jesus like she needs oxygen. Praying with Moms in Prayer has changed Lee’s faith in ways she can hardly find words for. Lee’s first book, Brave Moms, Brave Kids, releases February 1, 2018 and you can find it available for pre-order at all major retailers. Visit Lee’s website at BraveMomsBraveKids.com.