Rewind to December 5(ish), 2012 - I have just proposed to Praying Pelican Missions that I would like to spend a good amount of time in Jamaica this year. I proposed that when I came here to Jamaica in December that I would stay through August and spend time reinforcing our partnerships with churches and ministries here as well as assisting in the day-to-day operations of setting up and leading trips. It was just a proposal. . . they liked it and ran with it. I was nervous, unsure, questioning my thoughts that I had put into words. I had just spent the past 6 months fighting against spending so much time in Jamaica! A girl broke up with me over 6 months ago because I was gone too much. . . I wasn't over it. . . I loved her. I wanted to find a way to settle down and find a nice girl and. . . the American dream. What was I thinking!?
Back to the future - Dec. 30 - I'm sitting in church listening to Pastor Oniel Brown preach a Christmas sermon. He's fired up as most Jamaican pastors are when they're preaching. He's talking about Mary's role in the Christmas story. Protestants don't talk much about Mary unlike the Catholics. We don't have anything against her, we just don't focus on her so much.
Mary, however, has an interesting perspective in the Christmas story. Pastor Brown talked about how much Mary had to lose. A young woman, maybe 15 or so, engaged to be married, a virgin. . . pregnant. Unlike today, this was not a common story. She had absolutely everything to lose! Legally she could have been put to death. Joseph could have divorced her and had her killed for being pregnant. Virgins, after all, don't get pregnant. In Luke, the angel tells Mary that her life is about to be turned upside down. Mary's answer is simply, "I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled." What!? Really!? That's it? No arguing? No questioning? Just, "yeah, sure, ok"? Wow. . . that's faith!
When Pastor Brown was talking about Mary and how she trusted even though she had EVERYTHING to lose, I felt like he was speaking to me. I was nervous about my decision, but what did I really have to lose? In my mind I was losing the opportunity to find "that special person" and settle down. But God was telling me to trust him and He'd take care of it. God was using Pastor Brown to tell me that it was all going to be OK.
And. . .