I think I might be a control freak.
Maybe… maybe not, but the rolling lists of “yes-es and no-es” make their regular brain cycle as transition after transition slides its way into my life. Since I was old enough to recognize a season of change, I made a nasty habit of approaching possibilities with an impossible spirit. A new school year? Fear of making friends. A new friend? Fear that I wouldn’t gain their approval. A new place to live? Fear of inconvenience and longing for what I used to have. A new ministry to work in? Fear of failure. I was catering to an anxiety fed by inward thinking that ultimately left me longing, hungry, and oblivious to a God who had (and has!) greater plans for me than anything I could orchestrate.
After a particularly striking Sunday night, I realized that I was stuck. I had become paralyzed by my own doubt, and I realized that I could not become a house for the Holy Spirit and the spirit of fear. It was all or nothing, and I had to do something about it. I began to commit scripture to memory that would combat fear (such as II Tim. 1:7, Rom. 8:28, Deut. 31:6), and I made prayer a continual habit, not a ceremony reserved for a certain part of the day. Fear still crept in, but I made up in my mind that it would not find a home within me. I could not serve two masters.
My small testimony got my gears turnin’, and in a more recent event I began searching for a Biblical example of a woman who handled transition, trials, change, and fear with grace, courage, and unshakeable faith. This led me to Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Mary’s story has no shortage of transition and trial: impregnated as a young girl, she was chosen by God for a purpose that would defile her name as well as her betrothed, Joseph’s name. This situation could alienate her from the ones she loved and would definitely derail the plans she had made. However, despite the anxieties she had to of felt, she faced the situation and said: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38 ESV). The first thing to note is that she took on a spirit of servitude. Mary knew who her master was, and took his direction without question. Her role as a servant came before any other role she possessed. She embodied I Samuel 12:24: “Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you” (KJV), and used this principle to catapult her faith, the second thing to note. Her absolute willingness to accept God’s will in her life executes an unshakeable faith reminiscent of Abraham’s offering of Isaac (Genesis 22:2). No wonder she found such favor with God, she was immovable!
Mary trusted in God before His earthly ministry and her faith progressed as Jesus grew older. Because of her faith, Mary was apart of amazing miracles. She encouraged Christ as He turned water into wine, and was ultimately in the upper room on the day of Pentecost! Just as Mary did, we all know that transition and change is apart of life. It cannot be conquered by fear, but rather, it is conquered by an immovable faith and an unconditional love, formed by spending time with God. If you feel like you’re lacking faith, fall in love with prayer and fall in love with the Word of God. That’s where you’ll find the answers you’ve been searching for. But as the transitions make their way ahead, find comfort in “Thy will be done.” Trust in the Lord. Don’t lose heart.
Alexys Rea Griffin is a 22-year-old coffee connoisseur, bibliophile, Disney aficionado, and fresh-flower-lover. Seeking her English Literature degree from Florida State University, Alexys devotes her time to the Campus Apostolic Ministry at FSU as well as Kids Ministry at her local church. Do you do Instagram? ‘Cause so does she: @alexysasalways