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"A life of significance is most often preceded by a heart eager to surrender to God's will regardless of the cost."-DB Joe Stowell

Mary finds herself at a crossroads, when the angel Gabriel comes to her to tell her she has found favor with God and was chosen by him to birth the Son of God. She can submit to God's will and surrender all of her plans, dreams and ideas and just trust Him. Or she can continue on her merry way and go with her plans. We see that Mary does not hesitate. When facing the "devastating interruption that her pregnancy would bring to HER plans," she cheerfully and humbly accepts this honor. For she knew to whom she belonged, that her life was not her own, it was an offering of worship-a living sacrifice for her Almighty God. This does not mean that the cost was not high and the risk was not big, but she knew that "reputation is not Lord, worry is not Lord, money is not Lord..." Jesus is Lord and she follows HIM alone. "'I am the Lord's servant,' Mary answered. 'May it be to me as you have said'" Luke 1:38.

Fully surrendered. Her plans and dreams laid at His feet so that she can fulfill the calling, purpose and plan that God has for her. Mary continues to inspire me daily. She replaced worry with worship. She had everything to worry about, but she chose to worship through everything. She surrendered to the assignment, and how grateful I am that she did. Nothing made logical sense, her family and friends would think she was crazy, her fiance Joseph might think she cheated or was lying, not to mention the nosy neighbors in the small town of Nazareth calling her a harlot. But she pressed on, persevered, endured for the sake of Christ. Knowing full well that this life would not be easy for her, but knowing all the more that GOD knew this life would not be easy for her and he had her back. He found favor on her. "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God" (v.30). Against all odds, she trusted and followed her Lord.

"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" Luke 1:45

Sometimes nobody else can "see it" but us and God...and that is enough, more than enough. Because then we must really rely on faith and our personal relationship with Him. Sometimes when I notice I am looking for outside circumstances or people to tell me that "I am okay" or "good enough" I realize that the only ONE who can tell me that-that really makes a difference-is God. He is the only ONE that can fill the void, calm the anxiety, and speak directly to my heart to ease the fear. His perfect love casts out all fear. No one else's love can do what His love can. In fact, just recently I was having one of those moments and feeling like I needed someone to tell me that I was okay and God just whispered in my ear that He was the only one that really counts. My mom could tell me the perfect thing over and over and it would never be enough until it came from God Himself. So I went alone into my room and just cried out to Him and let Him tell me exactly what I needed to hear. Sometimes circumstances won't change and sometimes they will, but the good news is that God never changes and His love endures forever.

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