Faith like Mary

Mary responded “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.”

Wow. Talk about unwavering faith and trust.

Here’s Mary, just doing her thing and then this angel appears before her and casually says, “hey! You’re pretty special. The Lord is with you” (Luke 1:28), and then goes on to tell her that despite being a virgin, she’s going to have a kid.

Normal, right?

Woof.

As if that wasn’t enough, this angel goes on to tell her that not only will she have a baby, but he will be called the Son of the Most High and his Kingdom will have no end (Luke 1:31-32).

Talk about intimidating. I don’t know about you, but I’d be panicking at this point. I mean, really. You’ve just been told you are going to conceive a child, and not just your average baby. Nope. You are going to give birth to the Savior. Mary is pretty chill about it though. She responds by confirming her faith and is just like ya know what, I’m here to serve The Lord. If this is really His plan for me, I hope it comes true (Luke 1:38).

Super casual. No big deal.

I’m sorry, what?! I mean, sure, I pray for guidance on what to do in my life. I hope for signs that I am where I should be and that I’m doing what I should be doing, but I don’t think I would react so calmly if an angel showed up at my doorstep one day and just laid it all out there for me.

I guess that’s part of what faith is though, right? It’s about trusting that God has a plan for you and believing that His will will be done. If I truly live my life as a servant of the Lord, then I know it’ll all be ok. Mary doesn’t falter in Luke’s account of the announcement of the birth of Jesus. Sure, she was confused about the logistics of the Lord’s plan for her, but she didn’t question or deny it. She embraced it, and hoped that it would come true because it was God’s plan for her. How cool is that?! It was such a selfless and faith-filled reaction.

While I have never had an angel show up at my doorstep, I am blessed in that I have experienced my own “God moments” that give me the confirmation that I am where I should be. Sometimes it’s as seemingly insignificant as a text from the right person at the right time. Other times, it’s way bigger and in my face, like a sermon at church. I have really had to work on my response to these “signs”. I’m challenging myself to take a page out of Mary’s book. Rather than questioning the meaning or over-analyzing what I “should” do, I’m going to do my best to accept them with grace.

Luke depicts Mary as a pretty solid believer in his description. She takes God’s word for what it is without questioning His plans. She believes in the Lord and worships Him (Luke 1:46-47). So yeah, she’s great and all, but it’s important to recognize that God chose Mary to bear Jesus out of His grace; not because of anything Mary did. Gabriel tells her she found favor with God (Luke 1:30), which really shows that God acted for her and not because of her. Mary is the object of God’s love and grace and unearned goodness. I think Mary understood that; she realized that God acted for her (Luke 1:49). God really stepped into her life and pulled her into His service. Her unwavering faithfulness was an asset; not a payment.

I think Luke depicts Mary in this way so that we can identify with her unwavering faithfulness. It’s important to recognize that Luke doesn’t want us to worship Mary as a person; but rather to identify with her example. She was fully committed to the Lord and His plans for her. She was open to serving the Lord in whatever way He called her. That’s pretty cool.

I want to have faith like Mary.

I Am Where God Has Placed Me

I’m starting a new adventure in 7 days. 6 states away from this place I have come to call home. 15 hours away from friends that have become family.

Woof.

I’m getting nervous, to say the least. I’m nervous to leave this place. Nervous to leave my friends. Nervous to leave the guy who makes my heart happy. Nervous to leave the comfort of this job I (mostly) know how to do. I’m nervous to find a new church. I’m nervous to meet new people. Nervous to start my internship. I’m nervous to live in a new place. Nervous that I won’t be good enough. Nervous that I won’t like it.

But I’m also excited. I think.

I have a sincere passion for people who are broken or struggling or just experiencing life in a different way, and here I am, presented with the opportunity to work with this population. I have the opportunity to go to a brand new place and see more of this beautiful world. I’m excited to meet new people. I’m excited to embrace my passion. I’m excited to deepen my work and find a new way to bring the Lord’s light to my world. I’m excited to continue to grow in my faith, without the familiar comforts of my current church and faith community.

I want to use this new adventure as an opportunity to develop my gifts, grow in my faith and understand where the Lord has called me.

“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies”

1 Peter 4:10-11

I know I have been uniquely placed in this world. I know the Lord has a plan for me. I just need to trust in that plan and embrace the adventure. I am where God has placed me. I believe I have both the opportunity and responsibility to bring light and love to my world. So, instead of thinking about my nerves, I’ll focus on the opportunity to grow in my faith and learn more about the Lord’s plan for me. Scratch that. I’ll focus on how I can use this opportunity to serve. To serve the Lord through serving others.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of  this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Romans 12:2

It’s normal to be afraid to try new things, but how can I be afraid when I know I’m going to live my life for the Lord?! I know that’s taking the verse on a fairly surface level, but it’s where I am and how it applies to my life currently. I have been transformed in body, mind and spirit through my faith journey. I am no longer focused on my worldly struggles or fears. I am comforted with the knowledge that the Lord has saved me. I am comforted knowing that there is a purpose for every obstacle and adventure I face. You see, this life isn’t about me as an individual. It’s not about whatever worldly successes I can accomplish, sites I can see or things I can experience.

My life is for the Lord.

While it’s ok to be nervous for the summer, I just need to remember that it’s another opportunity to serve. If I keep my eyes on the cross, I have nothing to fear.

“I repeat, be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic, for I, the Lord your God, am with you in all you do.”

Joshua 1:9

On the Move

Hello friends!

My name is Haley, and I’m just a 20-something trying to figure out this thing called life. Cliche, I know, but at least it’s true.

I have been blogging about Faith, Coffee and Chaos elsewhere, but have been recently convinced to make a switch. I shared my previous blog with a friend, but she stopped writing as much, and my voice is continuing to develop with my experiences, so I figured why not make a switch. If you’re new, feel free to check out my previous blog for any background info you might be interested in, or to get to know me a little bit. I thought about copying over all of my previous posts, but there are quite a few of them and I figured I might as well just start fresh. That being said, I still might link back to a post every once in a while.

Hold on tight. Life is crazy, and I’m an open book. I believe the Lord has blessed me with a loving heart, and I’m trying my best to figure out how to best serve Him with it. I have a passion for people who are broken and struggling. I’m recovering from an eating disorder. The Lord has blessed me with a relationship with the best guy I know. I love fiercely and I love well. I’m learning what it means to be a Christian and a woman of faith. I’m a grad student. I’m a bit of a hopeless romantic. Nothing takes my breath away quite like the night sky. I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time. I have an affinity for scarves, anchors, iced coffee and tattoos. I’m a spoken word artist. Some of my favorite conversations happen in the silence between two people holding hands. Crunchy leaves are my favorite. I love Jesus.

 

“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”

Romans 12:9-10