|Linnette R. Mullin
|Every Christmas Christians around the world celebrate the baby in the manger, born to save the world. Every Christmas we read that a virgin named Mary conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and bore a son — Jesus. We marvel at this miracle just as we should.
Mary marveled, too. When Gabriel spoke to her, she replied, “How can this be since I’ve never been with a man?” I’m sure on some level it filled her with awe that Almighty God would bring the promised Savior into the world through her – a poor, teenage virgin betrothed to a humble carpenter. Yet, it must have been terrifying.
It would be easy to assume that God chose Mary for some great virtue, but she was simply a girl like any other Jewish girl – one who had been taught that someday the Messiah would come. She didn’t have special revelation outside of Gabriel’s announcement, and she didn’t understand what was happening to her any more than her peers. This is evidenced by the Bible stating over and over, “Mary pondered all these things in her heart.”
The culture in which I grew up shunned anyone who found themselves pregnant outside of marriage. Even some Christians chose to end the life of the baby rather than suffer the shame and reproach of there daughter being an unwed mother. So, it’s easy for me to imagine what Mary must have gone through. There had to be deep, dark moments filled with paralyzing uncertainty.
So many questions must have bumped around inside Mary’s mind and heart! What was God doing? Why had he chosen her to bear His son and enter into such shame? And can you imagine her trying to explain herself to Joseph? “Yes, I’m pregnant, but it’s okay! I haven’t slept with anybody. This is God’s baby.” He would surely go through with his threat to divorce her, and if he did she would most likely be cast out and left to fend for herself and her baby alone?
So, what was God thinking? How could he ask His precious daughter to suffer such utter shame and humiliation through no fault of her own? Yet, he did. He hand-picked Mary and ordained that she would bear this shame. Talk about harsh! Yet, while Mary didn’t understand what God was doing, she also realized (in spite of all the questions, the mystery, and the inability to fully understand) that God knew what he was doing and she could trust Him with it.
In the same way, we don’t understand many pains and sorrows that come into our lives. My heroine, Beth, certainly didn’t understand why God allowed her to suffer in such devastating ways. This Christmas season think of Mary and how she entered into her son’s shame through her obedience to the Father.
Aren’t we called to do the same? God’s purpose is always good even when we don’t understand what’s he’s doing. Do you believe this?
|Finding Beth releases 12/20
Pre-order it here
Three years ago, Beth Gallagher lost her brother, Josh, in a tragic accident. Grief stricken and estranged from her father, she turns to the one man her brother had warned her against – Kyle Heinrich.
Now she’s discovered his dark side.
She flees to the Smoky Mountains to clear her mind and seek God’s will for her impending marriage. With help from a new friend, she finds the answers she needs, but will she have the resolve to follow through? And, if so, what might it cost her?
Adam Blythe had given up on finding a woman to love him rather than his money. Committed to caring for his ailing mother and running the family business, he suddenly finds his heart entangled with a woman already spoken for. Can he find a way to protect her?
Kyle Heinrich is used to getting his way, so when his fiancee leaves town without a word, he is furious. When she returns with a new man by her side, he determines to make her his – one way or another.
Beth Gallagher glanced at her gas gauge and groaned. “Come on. Where is it?” She white-knuckled the steering wheel and rounded another curve on the two-lane highway. She hadn’t passed a single car in the last five miles. Creepy! She shivered as her eyes bore a path down the tree-lined road, begging the station to pop into view.
The car shook. “No!”
It sputtered. “Please, not now!”
She glanced down and groaned again. The needle rested well below “E”. She pulled onto the narrow shoulder just as the car gasped its last. She thrust it in park, dropped her head onto the steering wheel, and moaned. Could things get any worse? Her mind flew to the conversation she had overheard at church, churning like an oncoming hurricane …
“Not only is he engaged to someone else, but you could be pregnant!”
Beth stood frozen in the bathroom stall, her hand hovering near the lock. Should she step out or wait until they left?
“He doesn’t love her. He loves me.”
The two voices drew closer, so Beth didn’t move.
“And he said this when? Before or after you gave him what he wanted?”
“It’s not like that.”
Dread coursed through Beth as an image of Kyle flirting with the pretty redhead flitted through her mind. No! He wouldn’t …
“No, Tracy. I don’t care what you say. He promised he’d take care of me. I’m going to marry Kyle …”
Beth’s head swam, and she braced herself against the walls. It couldn’t be … but the image of Kyle’s eyes roving over Samantha Ross burned in her memory.
Beth squeezed her eyes tight trying to rid her mind of the scene.
No. They couldn’t have meant … not my Kyle … He wouldn’t do such a thing! Would he?
Niggling doubts whispered things she didn’t want to hear. Her world tilted, spinning out of control.
Tap, tap, tap.
Her heart jolted and she froze until the tap came again. Trembling, she slowly tipped her head just enough to see a man peering through her window. Visions of being dragged from her car filled her mind. She swallowed hard.
“Hello? Miss? Are you okay?”
She eased her head off the wheel, never taking her eyes away from the pair of dark blue eyes that locked onto hers. She sucked in a lungful of air and blew it out to steady herself.
“Are you okay?” His slight southern drawl glided over her nerves, soothing her in an unexpected way.
Get a grip, Beth.
She gave him a shaky smile and lowered the window a few inches.
“Are you hurt?” His brows were drawn together in concern.
“No, I’m fine.”
“I’m out of gas.” The words slipped out before she could snatch them back. She cringed. Too much information.
“I’ll run down to the station and get you a couple gallons. Would you feel safer stayin’ here or goin’ with me?”
“I-I’ll stay here. Thank you.”
“Alright then, lock your doors. No tellin’ what kind of creeps are runnin’ around.”
Crinkling her brows, she glanced at her lock. “My doors are … locked.” Her mouth formed an ‘O.’ She reached over, hit the lock, and gave him a sheepish grin.
He chuckled, his smile revealing a heart-stopping dimple in his right cheek. “It’s a good thing I’m not the creep. I’ll be back in a bit with your gas. You won’t be stranded for long.”
Her eyes swept over him. He couldn’t be much older than her. Though he was of average height, he could easily over-power her with his broad muscular build. He should have intimidated her, but something in his gaze calmed her. Drew her.
“Will you be okay?”
“Um … sure …” She cleared her throat. “Thank you.”
“My pleasure. Sit tight. I’ll be right back.”
“Wait! Let me give you some money for gas.” She scrambled to dig a ten dollar bill out of her purse.
He shook his head. “It’s only a couple gallons. Don’t worry about it.” He left before she could pull her wallet out.
Her blood pulsed hard as he pulled away…
LINNETTE R. MULLIN is an author of life-changing romance. She has been married to Johnathan for over twenty years and they have four sons. Some of her writing credits include Charles Stanley’s “In Touch” magazine, “101 Facets of Faith”, Guidepost’s “Extraordinary Answers to Prayer”, and “Public Health Alert”. She is the founder and coordinator of Palmetto Christian Writer’s Network in Lexington, SC; she runs the “We Are Writers” group on Facebook. Her favorite things are her family, her church, reading and writing, and her Savior most of all. Visit http://www.LinnetteRMullin.com to learn more.