She Was Young, Unmarried and Pregnant — But Had a Faithful God

By Nancy Flory Published on December 22, 2023

She was young. No older than a teenager. And she just found out that she was pregnant. What would her mother say? Her siblings? Her father? This would shame her family. “You didn’t grow up like this!” she could already hear her parents say. And what about her fiancé? The baby wasn’t his. She wouldn’t blame him if he broke up with her. Nobody would.

But all was not what it seemed. Her head was spinning over what had happened. She questioned herself, maybe even her sanity, just a little bit. She did not choose to become pregnant. She wasn’t that kind of girl. But now she accepted that she was going to be a mother. A young one at that. 

This story is told every year. Most people know it, or at least know of it. But do we ever sing about Mary’s fears or struggles as a pregnant young woman in her culture and society? Yes, she accepted God’s will for her life. And that is wonderful, because it means salvation for you and me. But do we really know what Mary thought about what was happening to her body, or how people in her culture would accept her?

Luke 1:28-38 says that the angel Gabriel went to Mary, a virgin, who was promised as a wife to Joseph. “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” The Bible says that Mary was “greatly troubled.” She was afraid and wondered what was going on. “But the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus.'”

Mary was confused. “‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?” The angel explained that the power of the Most High would “overshadow” her. Notice here that Mary didn’t question the angel anymore. “‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.’ Then the angel left her.”

Mary was living in a culture and time that did not accept unwed mothers. What did she go through as a young pregnant woman? Could she have been afraid? Yes. Mocked for telling the truth about an angel? Certainly. The Bible doesn’t say, but I would be interested in knowing what her relatives said to her when she told them what the angel had prophesied. It could not have been easy. “Yes, I’m pregnant, but the power of the Most High overshadowed me!” I would imagine they had the same response we would have today in a similar situation — “Nope. Didn’t happen like that.”

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When we struggle with fear and the mocking of others, let’s think back to Mary. Mary had every reason to be fearful and shocked and humiliated because of what others no doubt said about her. And yet — she trusted God. She had the kind of relationship with God that she had complete faith in Him and was willing to do His will for her life. “‘I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered [the angel]. ‘May your word to me be fulfilled.'”

When we don’t get that job or house, when our kids are prodigals, when it seems that our darkest days are on us, trust in the Lord. Trust in God like Mary. He is faithful. 

And so, after nine months, a sweet baby boy was born. Young Mary held her precious child in her arms and kissed his forehead. The same forehead that would one day be pierced with a crown of thorns for you and me. At that moment, she wondered what would become of her life. She may have even been a little afraid. But she trusted in God, Who had her best interest at heart. 

No matter your situation, you can trust in God. He is faithful. He has your best interest at heart. Let us, like Mary, say, “I am the Lord’s servant. May Your word to me be fulfilled.”

 

Nancy Flory, Ph.D., is a senior editor at The Stream. You can follow her @NancyFlory3, and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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