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One Woman’s Surrender That Changed the World - Wholly Loved - December 20

One Woman’s Surrender That Changed the World

By Jennifer Slattery

 “…So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.” Luke 2:6-7

 Obedience rarely comes easy. In fact, it often requires sacrifice and for sure involves surrender, but through our surrender, God can change the world. 

 We see this so clearly in Mary’s experience as she traveled a long, dusty road, likely with an aching back and swollen feet. I’m certain she experienced moments of sorrow and anxiety, maybe even shame.  She was human, after all, and her obedience must have cost her so much. As an engaged yet unwed mother, she probably endured ridicule, maybe even lost friends. 

 Then, shortly before Jesus was to be born, the emperor’s decree forced her to travel, while very pregnant, 90 miles, and this wasn’t by train or Uber. When she finally arrived, she had to be exhausted, desperate for a comfortable place to rest. But she and her husband found no place to go. As a result, scholars suggest Jesus, her precious firstborn, arrived in a cave meant to house animals. 

 Was she disappointed? Saddened at how her firstborn’s birth had come about? Did she wonder if maybe God had forgotten her or didn’t love her? Or did she center her heart in the knowledge that she truly was “highly favored” (Luke 1:28) and deeply loved?

 The Christmas story, as glorious as our modern retellings make it out to be, reminds us that obedience often comes at a cost. But the blessings for us are the same as they were for Jesus that silent, holy night: Immanuel, God with us. Our obedience doesn’t earn our salvation. Christ purchased that when He died on the cross. But it does grant us deeper intimacy with Him, the God who is always near and will never leave. And through our surrender, God can and will change the world.

 Jennifer Slattery is a writer, editor, speaker, and the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries. She writes for Crosswalk, iBelieve is a multi-published author of Hometown Healing among other titles who also writes articles, Bible studies, and devotions. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall outings with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband. Visit her online at or book her for your next women’s event.

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