The day I found out I was pregnant with our fourth child was a hard one. See, my pregnancy with number three was one of the darkest times of my life; I had to be hospitalized for perinatal anxiety, and I was unsure that I would mentally be able to handle any more children because of that. So, when that fourth test turned positive, I panicked. This wasn’t in my plan, but God had announced His loud and clear.
Looking back on that day, I can see what God had in store for my life. He knew that I was fearful of another difficult pregnancy, yet He showed me that each pregnancy is different. He can make all things new. I try to imagine what that day would have been like if I would have framed our gift of new life as a small annunciation—news from God that would eventually change my world for the better.
As always, Mary in today’s Gospel is a perfect example of this type of obedience. At the arrival of Gabriel, Mary takes a moment to be troubled but then begins to ponder what might be happening. She receives the news and has questions. After hearing the angel’s answer, she submits to the Lord willingly. Mary was not dumb; she knew that saying “yes” would be a total upheaval of her life’s plans. Yet she trusted that God would take her trust and turn it into something beautiful.
Whether it be as big as a layoff or as small as a traffic jam, may we all view the pivotal moments in our daily lives as Mary did: as opportunities for God to grow within us, shower us with His grace, and change our lives for the better. Every moment we can choose to say "yes" to our own little annunciations.
Pope Saint John Paul II wrote an entire encyclical on the Blessed Virgin Mary called "Redemptoris Mater." Read it for free here.
Jenna Hines has a teeny army of four children and is married to a bearded fellow named Mike. They are a homeschooling family who just moved out to the country. Find her books and illustrations in her shop. You can find out more about her here.