My mother is only one example of a woman who has impacted my life as a result of her relationship with Christ. Over the next several months in this series, I want to share with you about some of the other women who have impacted my life solely because of their relationship with Jesus. I believe as I share, you too will connect with them and discover for yourself how God has always had a plan for you, is working it out in your life and will never leave you.

Mary Magdalene, a True Follower and Friend to Jesus

You have got to be joking! Mary Magdalene is a woman with a past. Who knows what she has done? And on top of that, she is a single woman. As you know, singles cause marriages to fail. Do we really want her traveling with us? With Jesus? I mean, can she really be trusted with the knowledge of Christ? Can she really be trusted as woman? Wouldn't she be better staying here, finding a husband and having children? Can't she serve Christ by staying here?

Does any of the above sound familiar with your life? It does with mine. Would it have been better for Mary Magdalene to not travel with Jesus and the disciples? Maybe, but that wasn't what she was called to do. Just like Mary, I have had to face that same decision. I could stay here in Raleigh, North Carolina and serve him (and I have all these years and it has been where God has had me), but God has called me beyond my borders just like Mary Magdalene, who was called beyond her borders, her comfort zone. Jesus has also equipped me, inspired and challenged me. He has given me what I need. I just need to be available.

Mary Magdalene is a woman who is surrounded by much controversy today. People simply cannot believe that a woman could have been a close friend to Jesus. Not every friendship leads to a physical relationship. Not every friendship leads to marriage. Sometimes it just leads to a deeper friendship. I believe this is what Mary Magdalene had with Jesus, a very deep and special friendship -- a friendship that I can only try to achieve not only with Jesus but with others using Jesus as my example.

Mary Magdalene was a woman who had seven demons. Some scholars say these demons were past sins or existing relationships that were sinful, that her demons were the result of being a  prostitute. I personally do not find anything to support this other than she simply was possessed by seven demons. We know from other parts of Scripture that people were often possessed by demons and evil spirits and that they manifested themselves in odd and self-destructive behavior. Perhaps Mary Magdalene also had such behavior -- day after day tormented by demons, telling her to do and say horrible things. Having her family and friends see her in this way, it must have been the loneliest time in her life. Nevertheless, we do know for sure that Jesus healed her by casting them out. And as a result of this healing, she chose to follow him.

Not long afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby cities and villages to announce the Good News concerning the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women he had healed and from whom he had cast out evil spirits. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. …
— Luke 8:1-2

Mary Magdalene followed Jesus and served alongside him. She did what most women did who followed Jesus:  helped take care of Jesus and the disciples. But Mary did something more. Mary became a disciple of Jesus by spending time with him, listening to him, and watching him. She built a relationship with him that grew from admiration and respect to a loving friendship. Mary Magdalene proved this by continuing to follow and serve. Mary was obedient even to the end and beyond. Mary was there at the Crucifixion when others hid in fear.