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A Mentor Is Like The Twin Tail-lights Guiding You In A Blizzard

snowstorm-carI was desperate. John was 16 and had started working where he met a fast group of older boys. Soon he was climbing out of his window at midnight to join them. Steve and I got stricter, but he was rebelling. I traveled to see Shirley, just as Mary traveled to see Elizabeth. Shirley’s children were grown, walking with the Lord, and I had observed firsthand what a tremendous mother she was. She told me three things: to pray fervently, to release him to God, and to keep loving him. I told her I was so angry with him. She said I could still love him. Even if I had trouble talking to him, I could give him shoulder rubs, I could play chess with him.

When you are afraid, you feel like you are driving in a blizzard. It is such a welcome sight to have a car pull on the road ahead of you. That car’s tail-lights can keep you from going into the ditch. Shirley kept me from going into the ditch — she was a little further down the road from me and had handled blizzards wisely.

John did turn around — dramatically. The story is in The Friendships of Women. I have always been thankful to God for Shirley and for working in John’s heart.

Elizabeth was a little further down the road from Mary. These questions sometimes ask you to read between the lines, and we may vary in our thoughts — but that’s good. Don’t be afraid to speculate or to disagree with someone in love. All of these questions are based on Luke 1:1-56 and, for Joseph, Matthew 1:18-25.

1. How much further along was Elizabeth than Mary in her pregnancy? (Give a Scripture reference)

2. (Challenge question) Mary stayed three months. Why do you think she might have stayed so long?

3. What similar reactions did Zechariah and Joseph have to the news of their wives pregnancies?

4. Challenge question. If Mary had fears about returning and telling Joseph, how might Elizabeth have been equipped to mentor her?

5. What other mentoring might have happened during these three months?

6. So often we look for a mentor and neglect to mentor. Think about the blizzards God has brought you through — if there anyone in your path going through similar blizzards? How might you show her you are approachable?

7. What’s your take-a-way this week?

In November, I’d love to address and get your input on friendship questions — so start asking them, and we’ll work on them in November. Either post them here or send them to comments@deebrestin.comΒ Β  I can keep them anonymous if you send them there — or, if you have an anonymous name, you can simply post them on the blog.

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  1. 1. How much further along was Elizabeth than Mary in her pregnancy? (Give a Scripture reference) Elizabeth was 6 months ahead of Mary in her pregnancy. Luke 1:36.

    2. (Challenge question) Mary stayed three months. Why do you think she might have stayed so long? I think Mary may have stayed so long for comfort, for support, for encouragement. I think she may have been afraid to go home at first, afraid of the ridicule and gossip she would possibly endure, even from the ones closest to her: Joseph, her parents, her friends. I think God through Elizabeth’s encouragement and support gave Mary what she needed to return home, to have a quiet strength and peace knowing Elizabeth also was pregnant with a “miracle” child!

  2. I also think Mary was encouraged by seeing one wiser and older traveling down the same path. It makes me think of that saying that faith is not so much taught as it is caught! Seeing someone live and in action speaks volumes more than many words! πŸ™‚

      1. I never thought of that! I bet Mary stayed to help deliver John the bapist, or at least give support for Elizabeth. Thanks for the insight, Dee!

      2. Good thinking Dee! 9 months!! :). Perhaps, she waited there until the baby was born! πŸ™‚

        1. That is really good, also, I was thinking not only could she help, but she learned about the process of birth through Elizabeth. I am sure God used it to help get her prepared for when she was going to have Jesus.

  3. 3. What similar reactions did Zechariah and Joseph have to the news of their wives pregnancies? Both Zechariah and Joseph disbelieved the news about their wives! As I sit here thinking about them, I think what unbelievable news they received! Zechariah’s wife – well beyond child bearing years is going to give birth, and Mary, a virgin with child – no wonder an angel had to tell them! :). Though both of their initial responses seem to be one of disbelief, it seems that when the angel spoke to Joseph, it was then, that he believed. (Matt.1:18-25)

    4. Challenge question. If Mary had fears about returning and telling Joseph, how might Elizabeth have been equipped to mentor her? I think Elizabeth was uniquely equipped to mentor her in this area because the same thing happened to her! Zechariah didn’t believe even after an angel told him, but we see God working in his heart at the birth of his son, when he declares, his name shall be called John, the name the angel of the Lord told him to call him. Elizabeth could help Mary believe and also Mary if as assumed she stayed for the birth of John, she could see firsthand that what God had said had come true! She possibly also could have seen the change in Zechariah from disbelief to belief! Maybe that is stretching it a bit – hopefully when Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant – Zechariah was at least beginning to believe! πŸ™‚

  4. 3. I think overall they were both fearful-afraid-their first response after finding out was to take control of the situation..Joseph by deciding to send Mary off in secret and Zechariah not believing the angel.

  5. Oh and going back to the previous question.. Something just hit me that could be totally silly, but I will throw it out there.. Mary stayed three months for the reasons we listed, but could there be a significance of ‘three’.. The Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit? I am sure I may be off, but thought I put it out there anyway. If it has no significance go ahead and tell me I won’t get my feelings hurt. :0)

    1. Rebecca, you make me smile :o) I’m sure there is significance but I can’t seem to wrap my mind around just what it is.

  6. #4. Elizabeth experienced God dealing with her husband’s doubting heart and then she experienced her husband accepting and rejoicing what God had done..She knew God would do the same for Mary.. Also, this is a BIG DEAL.. I mean, Mary is going to give birth to Jesus, the Messiah! Why would God NOT speak to her godly husband and reveal this to him? Elizabeth has experienced intimately God and His character.. He would never forsake or leave Mary abandoned without help from her husband. I could see Elizabeth loudly proclaiming this truth to Mary with such joy in her heart.. I am sure this encouraged Mary to trust God working in her husband’s heart that He won’t leave or forsake her.

    1. Hi Rebecca! I always love reading what you have to say – you are always encouraging- thanks always for being so encouraging! Love your heart!

      I love your answer here to #4, but one thing, I have a slighty different thought on. I love how you said Elizabeth had experienced intimately God and his character and I love the next part of your sentence..He (God) would never forsake or leave Mary abandoned…….that I agree on….but without help from her husband, I think of that more of a personal choice that Joseph made, to wonderfully participate with Mary regarding the birth of the Messiah. I guess the only thing I think about is that he could of said no, or remained in his unbelief and put Mary away privately…but there is no doubt that God would provide for Mary, in fulfilling his promise….with or without Joseph, but Joseph willingly participated. I think of a lot of women whose husbands don’t willingly participate, but the promise is the same for each of us who believe God, that He will never abandon us, and He will always provide what we need! πŸ™‚

      1. Mary, great observation and great points! Your point is right on because Joseph and Zechariah didn’t really submit and weren’t willing to participate at first, so there has to be significance in the fact that God had to send Gabriel to them to move them to turn around..It was important that they were “as one” with Mary and Elizabeth on this evidently.

        You are also right on when you said God would have provided with or without them, and I think it was a willful decision on both of their parts but not without struggle and without the hand of God involved in softening and wooing their hearts. (I do know you agree with that part, I am just working it out in my mind out loud.) Of course their ‘wooing’ was rather intense! ha! ;0)

        Now, to extend this and apply it to our lives today, I can say that the mentoring aspect of one woman helping another trust God with her husband’s heart regardless of where they are at in their journey is crucial, even regardless of the outcome!

        As you so eloquently and truthfully stated one way we can mentor one another is to encourage each other to know that God is our husband and He will provide for us spiritually, materially or whatever the need is whether or not our earthly husband does, yet at the same time we can encourage each other to pray for our husband’s and our own hearts knowing God can change them to align with His plan in the situation at hand. I hope I am not going on a rabbit trail here, but this is where your awesome challenge took me. :0)

        Sorry this is so long!! Love you sis! πŸ™‚

        1. Mary, I apologize.. I just re-read your response and then re-read mine.. WOW.. I sure did go around the track a few times when I could have just condensed it into two sentences..haha! Sorry to belabor or confuse you, it would have confused me-actually it did after I re-read it.. So much for ‘thinking out loud’.. ;0)

        2. Rebecca, I love it! You do not have to apologize. I love how you see into things. You also challenge me with your thinking! I love it! All I really meant to say is God IS going to be faithful to us – in whatever way he chooses to do it. It can be through a husband, a friend, even a stranger, but God will always be faithful to take care of us! With love girlfriend! πŸ™‚

        3. Mary, Amen sistah!! :0)

  7. Mary, YES!! I think you have caught onto something important, but I am not sure yet, Here is what you said: “She (MARY) possibly also could have seen the change in Zechariah from disbelief to belief!” I think there is something to that.. Let me look..

  8. Mary, O.K. I read further into Luke 1 and I am not sure if she stayed through until the circumcision 8 days after his birth when Zechariah’s mouth was opened, but she could have stayed that long..That said, when his mouth was opened rumor spread all throughout the hill country of Judea, and I am sure Mary heard about it if she wasn’t there.

    I am not sure whether or not Mary was there at that time. BUT, we can speculate that it is possible Zechariah wrote things down on paper and told Elizabeth things that could have shown he was moving in that direction?

  9. I’m enjoying your conversations about this week’s study. I’m pressed for time, as I’m sitting with my brother in the hospital. His wife (she’s the one just like a sister to me) had a new hip in Sept. and has been in and out of the hospital not knowing what was wrong with her. She has been confussed and at times not knowing anyone. Yesterday we found out she, Mary Kay,(age 65) has advanced atrophy…alzheimer’s or dementia. This has been devastating news for my brother and their three kids and the grandkids. One of my other sister-in-laws sat for 2 hours and read the Psalms to her yesterday. Mary Kay seemed to enjoy it. She goes in and out of confusion alot. Their daughter-in-law and I are headed to their house to clean today (we both have back backs, so this should be interesting!) Mary kay hasn’t been herself for a year and the house has been going downhill. She use to be the most wonderful cook and she doesn’t know how anymore and my brother doesn’t know how either. Please pray for Dennis and Mary Kay. Dennis is my oldest brother and has the most tender, loving heart and he is in tears now. They have been married 45 years. They are tender new christians. My spinal fusion is Nov 18th, so I don’t know how much I will be able to participate here, but my heart is with you all.

    1. Joyce, I am so sorry about Mary Kay. I will be praying for the whole situation. In fact, maybe we could all do that together.

      Lord, thank You so much that Mary Kay and Dennis know You. This is so much for tender new believers to walk through. Give them strong faith in You and Your goodness. Help Dennis to lean only on You. Give Mary Kay clearness of thought right now. Help her to shake off the effects of anesthesia and surgery right now. Provide for them in every way, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Though they walk through the valley of the shadow of death, they will fear no evil…Lord may they know right now what glorious riches they possess in Christ Jesus our Lord.

      1. Joyce, SO SORRY to hear that.. I am praying for them now…

    2. Joyce, how is your sister in law doing? How is your back-did it hold out o.k. for the cleaning? We are praying for you!

      1. Thanks for asking, Rebecca, I was lame for a day or so after that! I will update on Mary Kay at the bottom here.

  10. Thank you so much for all your thoughts and prayers. She didn’t even know Dennis today, he is just beside himself. Such a heartfelt prayer, Anne, thank you.

    1. This is a picture of my three older brothers and I, in order of our ages, taken about 25 years ago.

    2. Joyce, I am so sorry to hear about your sister-in-law. That is SO hard. We also found that reading Scripture to my mom calmed her. Music/familiar hymns also seemed comforting. I’ll be praying for the whole family and for you with upcoming surgery. Although I believe that as believers, we should use our minds, it’s easy to forget the possibility of spiritual growth, even during dementia. I am so thankful for God’s grace, and that spiritual growth/well-being occur through the power of the Holy Spirit — and His power isn’t limited by my cognitive or psychological limitations.

      I appreciate your willingness to share this and am so moved by your willingness to minister to them and your commitment to them. Will be praying for you, too, to experience God’s strength and peace during what could be a “long haul.”

    3. Lifting you up Joyce and your brother and his wife.

  11. I’ve been reading here! I enjoyed the taillights analogy — have experienced it far too often in bad weather. Because the analogy is so vivid to me, it’s easy to make the connection to mentoring. I’ve gone way too fast (or faster than I was comfortable driving) when following trucks during snowstorms — because the alternative of not seeing headlights seemed worse. Sometimes the vehicle ahead of me was going so fast that I chose not to follow, even though I had to pull over to the side of the road (not too safe either). I’ve been thinking about the pace of mentoring for the past couple of days. (also remembered trying to pass vehicles that seemed to be going too slow during storms — my perspective of fast changed when I was leading!)

    I don’t think I would have figured out that the length of Mary’s visit potentially corresponded with Elizabeth giving birth without the math hint! My first thought was that maybe Mary was finally getting over morning sickness so that she was able to walk that far πŸ™‚ Then, I remembered that she could be fearful of how people would treat her. Visiting Elizabeth sort of served the purpose of going to a home for unwed mothers! — except that Mary was gone during the time when her pregnancy would have been least visible.

      1. I noticed I wrote “headlights” once (actually, I wrote it twice, but changed it once I posted). Might that explain head-on collisions in my life? πŸ™‚ Jumping in the path of oncoming cars when I thought I was following mentors ?!!

  12. 1. How much further along was Elizabeth than Mary in her pregnancy? (Give a Scripture reference)

    Six months, as in Luke 1:26.

    2. (Challenge question) Mary stayed three months. Why do you think she might have stayed so long?

    Three more months meant it was time for Elizabeth’s baby to be born, so Mary may have desired to stay for this reason, to encourage Elizabeth as well as to learn about the birth process.

    3. What similar reactions did Zechariah and Joseph have to the news of their wives pregnancies?

    Zechariah did not believe the angel, and Joseph wanted to divorce Mary quietly when he first found out about what would happen with her pregnancy.

    4. Challenge question. If Mary had fears about returning and telling Joseph, how might Elizabeth have been equipped to mentor her?

    Elizabeth, barren the majority of her life, was used to public ridicule since childbearing was one of the most important things a woman should do in that society. Both women were vulnerable to public scorn, so staying with Elizabeth and learning from her was undoubtedly a huge asset for Mary.

    5. What other mentoring might have happened during these three months?

    Since Elizabeth was older, she had been walking with God more years and could encourage Mary to draw closer to Him. Their friendship and mentoring relationship had to have deepened significantly in those months, since they were in similar situations.

    6. So often we look for a mentor and neglect to mentor. Think about the blizzards God has brought you through β€” if there anyone in your path going through similar blizzards? How might you show her you are approachable?

    I don’t see anyone right now in my kind of blizzard, but I pray that God will make my heart teachable and shareable so I can do this if calledu upon to do it.

    7. What’s your take-a-way this week?

    I see how much we need each other. God is always with us but He also provides us great blessings through one another.

    Additionally, a verse jumped out at me as I read Luke 1 tonight to answer these questions: Luke 1:37 For no word from God will ever fail. This gives me great comfort in the midst of my blizzard because I know He will continue to help me see it through even when I can’t visualize the end result. God is faithful!!!

      1. Thanks so much… sometimes I don’t get on as often as I’d like, but hate to miss this study. You are all such a great group!

        1. Ditto what Dee Said Tracy.. You always have great insight to offer. Miss it when you aren’t able to participate. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Tracy! I love this answer that you gave, I had never thought of that!

      “Elizabeth, barren the majority of her life, was used to public ridicule since childbearing was one of the most important things a woman should do in that society. Both women were vulnerable to public scorn, so staying with Elizabeth and learning from her was undoubtedly a huge asset for Mary.”

      Thanks Tracy!

      1. Thanks, Mary! πŸ™‚

    1. No, I can’t see! πŸ™‚
      I can see maybe how Elizabeth could help Mary through the times when God doesn’t seem to make sense, but I don’t think Elizabeth was there when Mary was giving birth and do we know whether Elizabeth had given birth without a mother(possibly I can see she didn’t have a mother, because of her age), but she seemed to have many friends as they were all over for the naming of her son, so I would think she might have had help with her delivery, though we don’t know that for sure. And the second question – I don’t have a clue! :0)

    2. Mary was young, a virgin, and could have been pretty clueless when it came to childbirth (although I haven’t looked into whether children were present during birth during that era). Simply being with Elizabeth during later stages of pregnancy and childbirth would have helped Mary know what to expect.

      Re: abstaining from sexual relations. Mary’s temptation to have sexual relations with Joseph would have been thwarted during the first few months of her pregnancy because she was with Elizabeth then (no late nights with Joseph in front of the TV during that time)! Hmmm. . .thinking about mentoring and hospitality (and other ways for mentors and people seeing mentoring) to temporarily remove themselves from the intensity of current life situations in order to prepare for the next phase of life. (But I have to leave now– will look into Elizabeth’s preparation in the area later!). Also just thinking about how development of some sexual characteristics happens earlier now than in previous centuries. Mary could have struggled as much with the idea of having sex as abstaining from it. (Ok, I’m just thinking off the top of my head and might be totally whacko)

    1. I will take a guess here, but this is what came to mind:

      Zechariah was a priest and had to be gone for extended periods of time. Elizabeth had to go without emotionally connecting with him and he had to go without sex.. Those are both two strong ‘balm’ needs God has built into us to be freely expressed and fulfilled in marriage. When these needs aren’t being met AND given to one another, naturally frustration and crankiness can set in and an emotional separation can occur.

      Also, when Zechariah came home he couldn’t speak to Elizabeth. How frustrating was that for both of them. They couldn’t really unite in the way God designed them too, but they still remained faithful to God and to one another. They showed long suffering toward one another, and when Zechariah came back from his priestly duties apparently they were finally able to have sex and give each other that ‘balm’ they needed.

      Mary not only had to abstain from expressing her love toward Joseph and becoming ‘one’ in the first year of their marriage-she was pregnant and had to deal with all the physical changes in hormones and moods that came with that. Joseph had to deal with his sexual drive and his desire for his wife. That is REALLY hard for a man. I wonder if he struggled with his attitude at times which could have made Mary feel like she was trapped and couldn’t do anything about it. Perhaps that ‘no way out’ ‘trapped’ feeling is where Elizabeth steps in. She can relate to the trapped feeling of having to endure periods of time with no sex, no communication, and the human dynamic of being barren for so long and feeling that loss yet turning her face to God trusting Him with it.

    1. Thanks for the clarification.. i thought you were getting at the effects of not being together as one for periods of time and how that effects a relationship and how God uses it to steer us toward Him. But really they were going the opposite direction which is the right direction..really rabbit trailed on that one! haha! ;P

      That totally makes sense and is true indeed in regard to our culture and how we identify ourselves. Great insight!

      Does that book “Intimate Allies” address this in any way?

    2. “But people used to get their identity from God…”
      That’s alot to think about, and it is true. Thinking about what or where do I get my identity from?

  13. Here are some things I will take away this week:
    1. God takes note of our needs and he will provide, as he did for Mary and I think Elizabeth was blessed by Mary also!

    2. We need to learn how to love each other well perhaps God may use us to influence and help someone else!

    3. Similiar to # 1 – God provides what we need when we need it! He is faithful!

  14. 1. Luke 1:36 says that Elizabeth was in her sixth month at the time Gabriel visited Mary.

    2. Mary may have stayed those last 3 months of Elizabeth’s pregnancy to help her with the care of the house and cooking; I know when I was in the last stages of pregnancy it was hard to scrub floors and clean bathrooms and be on my feet for any length of time!
    It was also a sweet time of sharing their experiences and giving support and encouragement, and for Elizabeth to pass along wisdom to the younger Mary.
    The text doesn’t say, but Mary may have helped a midwife during Elizabeth’s labor and delivery.

    3. Both Joseph and Zechariah had unbelief, questions, and doubts. Both had fear. Zechariah was afraid when he saw the angel. The angel who appeared to Joseph in a dream told him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife.
    Both were righteous men who wanted to do the right thing. Joseph didn’t want to publicly disgrace Mary, so he had planned to divorce her secretly. Zechariah couldn’t grasp how he, an old man, and his wife, and old woman, would be able to conceive a child.

    I think it’s interesting, in Luke 1:13, the angel says, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your petition has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will give him the name John.”

    Zechariah was in the temple, praying; praying for God’s people, praying perhaps for God to send the Messian; yet could he have prayed about their childlessness, and that yearning he and his wife had for a child? And the angel said “your petition has been heard…”

    4. If Mary had fears about telling Joseph, Elizabeth could have talked with her about her own miracle from God, that she was going to have a child, and how Mary could be assured that because God chose Mary to conceive this child who would be His Son, that God would surely be with her and would preserve her and keep her safe. He would also be able to work in Joseph’s heart to help him understand. Elizabeth had many years of experience in trusting God, and she could pass on that wisdom to Mary. I’m sure they prayed together about it, too.

    5. Perhaps Elizabeth mentoring Mary in the duties of being a godly wife, keeping a home, etc… Perhaps Elizabeth talked to Mary about what to expect in the area of sexual relations with her future husband.

    6. I can think of a few people who helped me through blizzard times. They were people, mature Christians, who were more interested in helping others, and extending themselves in service to others, than thinking about themselves.
    I will never forget Wade, who, just 2 weeks before his death of pancreatic cancer, made the effort to come to prayer night to meet my dad, whom he had prayed for, for his salvation. It was plain to see that Wade was in alot of pain, and his color was dusky, yet everytime I looked up at him, his eyes sparkled and he was smiling. He stood over my dad, with great effort, and prayed for my dad that night.
    I’ve never seen for myself, a greater example of someone living for Jesus right up to their last breath.

    Another blizzard was the death of my nephew. Dee, and all the women who took part in the God of All Comfort study on this blog, you were all my mentors, helping me to get through the pain and grief, the questioning and yes, being angry at God. It was a safe place to be able to share my feelings and struggles. I think a good mentor has to be someone safe with whom you can be very real.

    I think I need to think about how I can be a mentor. I’m usually the needy one, looking for someone to help me. I admit, it is more natural for me to look inward, than outward, toward others. I think it’s alot about being spiritually mature. I’ve been mentoring my dad, somewhat, with encouraging him in his Bible reading, taking him to church, but at the same time trying to respect the father-daughter relationship, if you can understand what I’m saying, that I think it’s hard to mentor your parent when they have always been the one to mentor you!
    I could do a better job of mentoring my niece; I try to be available for her to spend time with her, it’s just hard as she’s so busy with school and working, we don’t get as much time together as we have in the past.
    I’m realizing that my relationship with God has to be a number one priority, because if I’m not spending time with Him, and maturing and growing myself, “you cannot pass on to others what you do not possess yourself” ( I heard that somewhere!)

    1. Susan,

      I liked this: “β€œyou cannot pass on to others what you do not possess yourself” ( I heard that somewhere!)” Excellent.. I heard it also said as “Water doesn’t rise above it’s level.”

      1. That’s good, too! (the water rising above its level)

  15. This week’s take away: I have to be honest.. I am really struggling.. The insight/message is so clear yet for some reason hard for me to process/pray through. It is like I heard but haven’t really listened to what God is trying to say to me.

    I think when Dee refined this and brought it down to the brass tacks of ‘identity’ that is when I started to struggle. Yes, my identity is in Christ first and foremost, but do I live that way every day? Do I allow distractions to get in the way? Worry about my oldest son, material things, etc..I know I don’t and that is why I desperately need His mercy every day..I need it.

    Maybe I should ask my boys what they see me identifying with when they see me. What do I show them with my life?

    Lord, I have to confess that I am so far off from having Mary and Elizabeth’s heart, but at the same time so thankful for your mercy.. but Lord it isn’t about me… I am nothing..it is about you.. if there is any faithfulness, any good, any desire to obey it is from you.. It comes from your hand. I hate it when my sin clouds my vision and in the blizzard I can’t see your tail lights leading me in the right direction. Lord help me to see you today..Help me to not slide off the road into a ditch.. Help me to ready for the time when you desire for me to be that taillight in someone elses’ blizzard.

    1. Rebecca,

      I hear your struggle, and it is mine, too. The crisis of identity – and do I live each day as if my identity is in Christ, or what do I go to to “find” my identity? I, too, struggle with distractions (big time), and thinking about material things.
      That was a beautiful prayer you wrote, and I echo it. Amen.

  16. Wonderful thoughts on the study…miss you! Update on Mary Kay….she still doesn’t know anyone, but they done a spinal tap and found a viral infection which can cause this memory lose. There is still some dementia or alzheimers but it wouldn’t come on this sudden and don’t know how bad that is,so hopefully when the infection clears she will be much better and we will know more. I truly believe the Lord is working here through everyone’s prayers. Our family’s churchs are praying for her and you and lots of others. God is truly magnificient! Thank you for praying.

    1. Keeping you in my prayers, Joyce. Thanks for the update on Mary Kay. Will pray for the infection to be healed.

  17. My computer seems to be broken so I will be on sabbatical until it is fixed:( I may be able to read some at work but not much I expect. I will continue to pray for Mary Kay and for you Joyce as your surgery is in 2 weeks.

  18. 7. My “take-away” this week:

    Thinking about how when we are afraid, we feel like we are driving in a blizzard, and it can be so reassuring to see the tail-lights of another car when we are actually driving in one, and it can be such a relief in a frightening situation to have someone come alongside of us, someone who is “farther along down the road”, someone who offers wisdom, guidance, just the reassurance of their presence. A safe haven for us to run to.

    Now I’m thinking, maybe that is why Gabriel just happened to mention to Mary that her relative Elizabeth was pregnant. She might never have even known – they didn’t have telephone or mail. But Mary wasted no time getting to Elizabeth. God gave Mary “tail-lights” to follow in Elizabeth.

    It’s really made this section of Scripture come alive. I confess, it can become routine and kind of boring, but now I think about this whole interaction between Elizabeth and Mary in a new way. They’re not just names on the page, but real women, with fears, and doubts, and shared smiles, and reassuring hugs, and the passing on of wise advice, and sharing their joys.

    1. Susan, I think you made an insightful observation when you said it took Gabriel to mention to Mary about Elizabeth being pregnant or she wouldn’t have known. You are right, it was timing and she needed to know now. God used Gabriel to tell her.. He sent her to Elizabeth who was exactly what she needed at the right time to prepare her for the bigger blizzard that lie ahead. Perhaps even though Elizabeth wasn’t physically there for Mary during the ‘white out’ part of her blizzard, her taillights were.

    1. Praying for the Lord to bless your time at the friendship retreat; perhaps many already good friends there together but the Lord can bring about new friendships, too!

      And please, Lord, give Dee wisdom in responding with wisdom to the letters about friendship problems; may we all have wisdom to give to others what You would have them do.

      Jesus, help us to be a friend like You are a friend to us.

  19. Dee, I am united with Susan in her prayer for you.. Love you and am so thankful to God for how He is moving in and through you to touch the souls of so many women for His glory. I will pray for strength and for hearing His direction at the retreat..

    1. Dee, I’m praying for you also.