Mary, Did You Forget?

Lately I’ve been listening to an audio version of the Bible in the mornings when I drive. I love the convenience of it, and it makes the drive go by much faster. I just finished up the last few chapters in the book of Matthew, and I found the wheels in my brain stuck whirling around the idea of Mary.


I think that we as Christians tend to idolize Mary a little bit–she had to be perfect…right? I mean, she found favor with God. She became a virgin who gave birth to and raised the Son of God. There’s no way she ever made mistakes…right?

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This can be so discouraging to women today–there’s no way they could ever measure up to Mary’s perfect standards. Let’s talk about the Woman at the Well or Rahab or Naomi–women we can more closely relate to, as they experienced struggles too–

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Yet, instead, every December, we reflect back on this “perfect” woman and end up feeling inadequate.


But, think with me for just a moment: Maybe Mary wasn’t as perfect as we make her out to be.

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“Whaaaaat, Brook? Are you crazy?! Of course she was perfect!” You might be saying. But hear me out.

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When we get into the theology of it, we know at the heart of Christianity is the belief that “There is no one righteous, not even one;” (Romans 3:10), with the exception of Jesus himself. Therefore, Mary could not possibly have been perfect. 

                            


Now, I didn’t research this as much as I could (I would encourage you to, though!), but according to this article, it is believed that Mary had at least six other children after giving birth to Jesus.

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I’m the second oldest of eight kids, so believe me when I say that there is no way on Earth Mary didn’t lose it once in a while. I mean, can you imagine the arguing between seven children?

“Mommm!  Jesus hit me!”

[Deep sigh.] “James, stop. Jesus couldn’t possibly have hit you.” 

“It’s not fair! Why do you always take his side?”

“Because, sweetie, Jesus is perfect!”

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I guarantee you that their home was rarely quiet. And I promise you that Mary most likely lay awake at night, worrying about her children and contemplating her adequacy as a mother (remember when Jesus stayed behind at the temple without his parent’s knowledge? Talk about giving your mother a heart attack).

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But I know that Mary felt these things because I’ve seen it in my own mother and in other mothers that I know, and I’ve experienced feelings of worthlessness and worry and inadequacy myself, even without having children of my own.


Mary was a woman, just like you and me (sorry, boys), and women struggle with these things. We question our worth. We overanalyze. We lose our patience and our tempers (even more so when we’re stressed or fearful). We experience anxieties that men will never understand. Our emotions are always overly activated.

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So, do you think that, after all the excitement of that night, Mary ever forgot like we do sometimes? Maybe forgot is too strong of a word.

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But do you think it ever got pushed to the back of her mind, that her son was born to save the world?

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Oh, I know, she was his mother, she lived with him day in and day out. She wouldn’t forget.

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Would she?

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Because Jesus literally lives inside my heart day in and day out and I forget about him at times.

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So, do you think, as the years passed and she was consumed with parenthood, that between sleepless nights, teething babies, diaper changing, and raising a family, she ever thought that Jesus was just a really (really) well-behaved child instead? Did it ever slip her mind that she was raising the Son of God? I mean, 33 YEARS passed before his death and resurrection.


Oh sure, I don’t doubt she thought of it on his birthday each year, especially because Luke 2 tells us that “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. But on your regular day, did she remember that she was the mother of a man born to die?

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Did she lay awake worrying about this when she did remember? Did a cold sweat drench her body after nightmares foreshadowing what was to come?

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Because, honestly, I think she did forget at times. She was a godly woman, yes, but she was also just your average woman–one with dreams and fears and flaws.

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And I find it beautifully comforting that God chose to adopt his precious son out to a woman who was just like you and me. One who was far from perfect, yet continually and intentionally sought to know God’s heart on a deeper level.

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God did not choose Mary to mother His son because she was perfect–He chose her because, despite her imperfections, she trusted God’s plan and turned to Him every chance she had.


Now, I don’t know about you, but this is is encouraging to me.

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Because, no matter how many flaws I have, I can be confident in the fact that God will still use me if I let Him.

Will you remember that this Christmas season–and throughout the coming new year?

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Remember that Mary was a woman just like you and me.

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Remember that she was far from perfect.

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Remember that God still used her in one of the most powerful ways.

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Because, remember, she had faith and trusted His plan.


Merry Christmas, friends!

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