Engaged Girls in the Bible // Mary // Part One

Christmas Eve service found me standing in a sparkly red dress with my family, holding my candle, and wincing as the hot wax dripped on my hand, and seared my flesh with alarming rapidity. As I stood, wincing with the pain, I listened to the the story of Jesus’ birth. I had listened to this story many times before, but this time {with a brand new sparkling diamond on my finger} I noticed something that I had never thought about before.

When Mary was visited by an angel, and began the greatest adventure of her life she was engaged. Just like me.

She may have not had a sparkly diamond ring on her finger, but she was in the same phase of life that I find myself in now. Mary was a good girl who was engaged to a true man. But their engagement process was a lot messier than what they may have hoped for.

Why? Because being a pregnant unmarried teenager is pretty messy no matter which way you cut it. I am betting that if human kind was the same as it is today that there were lots of village gossips pointing fingers at the couple. I am sure there were broken friendships and angry glances. Mary and Joseph certainly did not have a perfect engagement; they did not have a proposal story to submit to a magazine for publication, they did not have cute engagement pictures with a trendy photographer, and Mary did not spend her hours planning a perfect ceremony. And yet, in the middle of this confusing and difficult period in their life they were exactly where they needed to be.

God had big plans for Mary as an engaged gal. And if he had big plans for Mary’s engagement then you can bet the God who never changes has big plans for this season of my life (as well as whatever season you find yourself in). Mary may not have gotten the wedding of her dreams, but by placing herself available to what God had in store for her she opened up her life to the wildest, craziest, most beautiful story of all.

Everyone makes New Year’s Resolutions. And I wonder what Mary’s might have been. She wasn’t planning a huge sparkly wedding or lamenting over the vast array of bridesmaid dress choices. I think she has been through enough life that she knew that it is not really about resolving to make yourself better in any small way, but perhaps to resolve to open up your hands and your life to the plan God has.

[Tweet “May this be the year of the Lord rather than the year of the Me.”]

This next year I am finishing my college degree, and starting a marriageβ€”and no matter what happens I want to be found resting in the Lord’s hand.

I choose to be an engaged girl like Mary. I don’t want to get so caught up in being a Pinterest worthy bride that I miss what God has planned for me this year.

So this year, I am following Mary’s example, and this engaged girl’s resolution is:
β€œI am the Lord’s servant. May everything you say about me come true”.

Check back in coming weeks as we continue to look at engaged girls in the Bible!

Wedding dress picture taken by my amazing sister Amalia over at Second Breakfast.

24 thoughts on “Engaged Girls in the Bible // Mary // Part One”

  1. Pingback: I Give You Permission to Brag About Your Man {A linkup!}

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  3. Beautifully written! I just stumbled onto your blog and we have a lot in common, I’ll be coming back πŸ™‚

    Congratulations on your engagement!

  4. Thank you for the reminder to make this ‘the year of the Lord!’ While I am not engaged, I am going away to college this year, which will be a big change for me. I pray that I can keep my eyes on God even when other big things are happening in my life. πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Robin! Going away to college is always a scary thing, but exciting too! I think the most important thing is to remember that you are going to serve rather than be served. Someone gave me advice once not to look at college like a Bible camp, but rather a bunch of college kids who need love, and kindness. Good luck to you! I am sure you will be fabulous!

  5. Wonderful story Bethany. I agree with you about what Mary went through back in that time period. I know she was a very scared woman, but her faith kept her going. Like we all should do. Good luck with finishing your degree and your upcoming marriage. Happy New Year

  6. It is unlikely Mary and Joseph had no clue whatsoever as to the tremendous role they and their son would play in history. Perhaps they were thinking about having to make the trip to Bethlehem so Joseph could register and pay his taxes, and then how they would travel back, knowing they would be traveling with a newborn child. It certainly was no short and comfy air conditioned trip down the Interstate and they may have been thinking no further about their future than surviving that trip and then Joseph getting back to his carpentry. I see both of them as down to earth people, humble and realistic. I see you following in those footsteps, footsteps that are less and less common in our materialistic society.

    1. I love the scenario you painted in your comment, Alana. I am so often tempted to think of Bible characters as 2D characters, and not as real flesh and blood human beings. Thank you for using your beautiful description to help me further visualize what they were going through. You are such a sweet gal. Hope all is well with you!

  7. *sigh* Just lovely, dear daught, and a simple reminder to us all of what’s most important, no matter what season of life we happen to be in! I love this: “Let this be the year of the Lord instead of the year of Me.” Thank you!!

  8. Oh Bethany, this is so beautiful! You will be found resting in His hands. He has wonderful things planned for you this year!

  9. this was so precious I never looked at it this. Thank you for writing this, last year I was married to my hubby in December I think it’s really easy to get caught up in what being in engaged means in 2014. Thank you for this sweet reminder. Found you thru project peony btw!!

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