And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

My mother recently died of a rare neurological degenerative disease called, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). I am 37 years old and married to Jonathan, who is 38, and we have children, Luke (6) and Mary Love (2). 

Last November, due to Covid restrictions in care facilities that left me unable to supervise her care, we had to move my mother into our family room and set up a mini-hospital for her there. Though it made supervising her care ideal, it took away privacy and freedom from our family, which was especially difficult for my introverted husband. 

Six weeks later my father-in-law died of complications due to Covid. He was only 63 years old, had been a runner, was still working full time, and ate fish by choice. None of us saw that coming. 

To this day I don’t think I have realized my father-in-law’s death. There were many moving parts in incorporating my mother into our home with her plethora of needs. I had been torn between our family and Mom for years, and now we were about to dive into an even deeper pool. 

I remember thinking that there was no way our reality was actually happening. I remember thinking, truly for the first time in my life, “I am not creative enough to devise a plan.”  Realizing my lack of ability was profound because I had always found a way, and took credit for that. This prompting of the Holy Spirit, too deep for my own words or thoughts, stands out to me as a coal to my lips (Isaiah 6)—burned to remember. 

“I do not have the time, energy, or resources for this calling,” was met instantly with peace that I cannot explain: the Lord himself would be the one to provide for us. I previously thought I was the creative one—the clay looking back at the potter, taking credit for what was never mine. Being gently put in my place as a beloved daughter made to point to the craft and creativity of the Potter, I relinquished my grip, exhaled deeply, and silently exclaimed in my heart the words of Mary, “Behold I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”

To say I am not still reeling from all we have endured would be dishonest. Yet, God is so incredibly kind to give us the wounds of truth that are actually the cornerstone to the right understanding—He is the one. I am moving forward in trepidation, looking back to see grace in the burning of my lips that made my heart lie down beside still waters and be comforted in knowing he is God (Psalm 23), and this is as it ought to be. I am thankful for the mother of Jesus pointing us to the beauty of a surrendered will.

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