By Mariah Mulderink
When I found out I was a mother
I will never forget the day I found out I was pregnant with my son. I had a pretty good feeling that I might be pregnant so when I got home from work one day, I took a pregnancy test. It was a bit early to be taking one, but to my utter delight and shock, it read positive. I remember laughing for joy and amazement. Standing alone in my bathroom, I reveled in the fact “I am a mother.” Nothing could ever change that. The motherhood I had longed for since I was just a young girl was now a reality. This beautiful gift, this incredible responsibility, this total privilege had been given to me. In that moment, I knew the love of God.
When Mary found out she was a Mother
I got to thinking about this memory after I read the Scriptural account of the Annunciation. Rather than looking at it as “The Annunciation”, I reflected on it envisioning Mary for what she was: a young girl finding out she was pregnant. What instantly came to me was that she had no idea it was coming. She didn’t know it was coming because there was no earthly reason that she should be pregnant. Unlike most women, she was not even slightly anticipating this. She had never known a man.
Can you imagine? Yes, plenty of women experience unplanned pregnancies, but this was different. It was an impossible pregnancy. Here is Mary, a virgin, being told by a messenger of God that she is going to conceive and have a baby, and not just any baby, but the Son of God. I think back to my reaction when I found out I was pregnant: amazed, overjoyed, shocked...and I was expecting it! Then there’s Mary, being told the impossible, and she peacefully responds, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). What courage! What strength! What love! In these words, Mary lays down her life for God and her Son. She knew the love of God.
What is your Fiat?
Mary’s “yes” is oftentimes referred to as her Fiat. In those words quoted above, Mary showed complete faith, love and trust in God. She laid down her life and said to God, “I am yours. Do with me what You will.” She didn’t know all the details. She didn’t even ask for all the details. She just said, “Yes.” That is incredible. If you are anything like me, you need all the details. If someone is asking something of you, you need to know all the information before you can make a decision. For many things in life, this is not a bad thing. However, when it comes to the will of God, we have to trust. We have to run forward in the darkness guided only by the light of faith.
Why? Why would we do this? We aren’t Mary. Why does God need fiat from us? Love, of course.
Now, God isn’t asking us to prove our love to Him. He is asking us to trust Him. He is asking us to surrender ourselves to His will even though we may not know all that it entails or what comes next. He is asking us to make a choice.
I think each person has the opportunity to make many different fiats in his/her life. These are opportunities for love. I think the greatest fiat, thus far in my life, was when I surrendered my vocation to God. I didn’t like setting my will aside. I didn’t like letting go of my plans. However, I knew if I didn’t, there was a good chance I would miss what God was calling me to. So, I said to God, “Here’s my life. Do what you want with it.” And, I have had to say it hundreds of times since then and I’m sure I’ll say it thousands of more times before I die.
So, what is your fiat? Have you already surrendered to God? Is He asking you to do it in some way right now? Perhaps, your fiat is something you have to give every single day.
Well, whatever it is, I know the perfect person to go to for guidance and love: Mary. She is our exemplar, our guide, our Mother. She will help us. We simply must go to her.
So, grab your Rosary. Pray and contemplate the life of Mary. She will help you.
For the month of May, a reflection on the life of Mary will be posted each week. In anticipation of that, I want to briefly share my thoughts on the relatability of Mary. See below.
Can only mothers relate to Mary?
Throughout my life, I have struggled to connect with Mary. I have loved her and honored her and admired her, but I felt like my ability to relate to her was stunted. I used to think that once I became a mother this would all change. I would finally be able to relate to her and connect via our shared vocation of motherhood. However, I know now that I was so naïve in this assumption. Think of your relationship with your mother, or if it applies, think of your relationship with your children. In those relationships, are you completely similar to one another? Probably not. Closeness in a relationship does not depend on similarity. It depends on love. For the most intimate of relationships, I think, it depends on a shared love of God. Once I realized this, connecting with Mary was simple. She loves her Son, and I love Him too. What better foundation is there for a relationship than a shared love of God? It is possible for every person on earth to connect with Mary, to build a relationship with her. She longs for us to love her Son and know Him. So, when we come to her seeking this very thing, she pulls us close to her and nurtures us on our journey.
Looking to deepen your devotion to the Rosary and to Mary? Check out some of the resources from Chews Life below:
The 28 Day Rosary Challenge is an incredible opportunity to grow in your devotion to the Rosary. You can sign up for free to receive a daily email with a brief reflection and a reminder to pray the Rosary. You can sign up here!
Never feel like you have enough time for an entire Rosary each day? Our Rosary Bracelets might be exactly what you need. Each of our bracelets features a removable crucifix charm that helps to hold your place in your Rosary. This way, you can pray the Rosary throughout the day whenever you get a spare moment. See our beautiful bracelets here.
Mariah Mulderink is wife, mom, Masters in Theology student, and marketing director for Chews Life. Her greatest joys are her faith, her family, her friends, and any chance to be competitive. For her, one of the greatest privileges she has received is the opportunity to pursue her Masters in Theology. Studying the faith is not only fascinating but is also a beautiful way to know God better. She hopes her studies and her faith will always equip her to share Christ in her work and with every person she meets.
You can find out more about her here.