Picked and Purposed
This Mother’s Day, I wanted to encourage the mothers out there, young and older. This post is also for anyone else who is believing God to birth something through them (figuratively speaking).
When we read Matthew, we learn about two mothers, Mary and Elizabeth. One was a young virgin (Mary) and one was an older woman (Elizabeth) who had always been barren.
Both situations were completely different, however, both were God-ordained and used by God for pregnancies that played major roles in transforming the world.
Let’s walk briefly through the two stories for those who may not be familiar...
Married, getting older in age and barren.
One day an angel appeared to Zachariah, Elizabeth's husband, and told him a promise God had sent him. The promise was for a son. Zachariah doubted for he and his wife were of old age and had always been unable to bear children.
“Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old. But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.” Luke 1:6-7, 13 NLT
Some of you have been waiting for God to birth something through you whether it be a child, a church, a ministry, a business, etc. and it has not yet come to pass. You’ve been faithful, acted righteously, lived a holy life BUT the promise you have prayed and pleaded for has not come to pass...YET.
Zachariah and Elizabeth were righteous but the their prayer had not been answered YET, not because of anything they’d done or not done because it wasn’t yet the proper time.
One would think that upon receiving this word, Zachariah would've been ecstatic, however, that was not the case.
As the proper time was approaching, Zachariah spoke against it in doubt.
(It’s crazy how God will promise us something and we will try to tell Him how it can’t happen. Lol)
“Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.” Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very Presence of God. It was he who sent me to bring you this good news!But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born. For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.”” Luke 1:18-20 NLT
Let's not offend God with our doubt. Don’t speak against it. Don't look to yourself to fulfill it. Don’t even look to your circumstances to co-sign it. If God promised it, He will perform it (Numbers 23:19).
God had to silence Zachariah so he wouldn’t speak against the promised child. Words have power and the world couldn’t afford for Zachariah to ignorantly speak death over what God was bringing to life in order to transform the world.
Words of doubt are deadly.
What is God trying to conceive in you that you keep canceling with your words. What is He trying to birth through you that you continually speak against?
Once Elizabeth conceived, she remained secluded for months. She didn’t run around telling everyone what she was cultivating. She didn’t tweet about what she had in the works. She didn’t do a long Facebook post about it. No. She kept it a secret until the proper time.
Some of us move and speak too soon on matters that must be cultivated privately.
Engaged, young and a virgin.
“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name Him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end!” Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Baby to be born will be holy, and He will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail. ” Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.” Luke 1:31-38 NLT
Here we have a young virgin engaged to be married. The plan she thought that she had for her life was totally interrupted by God’s plan for her life. She hadn’t had time to get her money in order. She wasn’t even following the custom of being married before having a child. She was stepping fully out into the unknown. But she trusted God.
If God provides the promise, He will also send the provision to sustain it. He will always make a way for His miracle.
Mary and Zachariah both started out by questioning HOW because they were looking at the wrong WHO. They looked inward at themselves and outward at their circumstances when they should’ve looked up to the One Who had sent the promise.
However, though at first Mary questioned, she believed God to do as He promised and aligned her heart and words with His.
Elizabeth’s faith to conceive after being barren helped to be a testament as to why Mary should believe God while a virgin. Your faith for a miracle extends beyond just you!
“Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”” Luke 1:45 NKJV
It doesn’t matter how impossible things may seem, with God, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. God chose you specifically to carry the life that you’re carrying. God chose you specifically to raise the life that you’re raising. Don’t ever doubt yourself, your dreams, or your purpose.
God chose you to fulfill the purpose that you have. He chose you to carry the vision He gave you. Don’t ever don’t Him.
I would like to conclude this blog post a little differently than usual.
This Mother’s Day, I had the pleasure of interviewing 3 remarkable women of God who are all killing the game for the Kingdom. Two of these women are young mothers and one is my very own mother! Though these women share motherhood in common, their stories are unique and made up of varying circumstances that I believe many of you will find relatable. Whether you’re a young mom, struggling to get pregnant, or didn’t conceive until you were a little older, and even if you have no children at all and don’t intend on having children any time soon, I assure you that these testimonies will bless you for they are encouraging, inspiring, powerful and motivating. Read what they had to share about their journey as well as the advice they have for those who find themselves in similar scenarios.
Meet the ambitious Briana Moody:
"My name is Briana Moody. I will be 23 years old on June 1st! I am a mother to my loving 5 year old daughter, Laila Nicole. I am from and currently reside in Greenville, NC. I graduated last year from East Carolina University with a Bachelors Degree in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. I currently work at ECU as an Office Manager with the ECU 1 Card Office. My ultimate goal/passion in life is to obtain my Real Estate License and to also have my own non-profit catered to helping teen parents. I got pregnant with my daughter during my junior year of high school. I was 16. I had my daughter two weeks before my senior year of high school and I was 17.
Being a teen mother changed my life. I no longer could only worry about myself. I now was responsible for another human being. My parents were very disappointed when I told them I was pregnant, however, I never doubted that I had their support. They supported me and continue to support me. Financially I could barely take care of myself let alone a baby. I had to grow up quicker than my peers. There were times I had to work two jobs to supply as much as I could for my daughter. I had my parents support but I’ve always been an independent, strong minded individual and I’ve never minded working so I hustled as much as I could to provide for my daughter. I always had the mindset that I had a baby at a young age and if I needed assistance I’m not too prideful to ask my parents, but I wanted them to play the role primarily of grandparents not having to do things for Laila because they felt she would go without. I’m sure there were some peers that would give me the side eye or would be up in my face but talk behind my back but I never let that phase me.
As how society viewed me personally, I felt like I was always underestimated. For example, There was one associate of my mom that tried to convince me to go to a community college instead of a four year university. Not that there is anything wrong with community colleges, but I felt as if I was given reasons to not strive for more due to the fact that I had a child. There have been times I wanted to give up but I know that’s not an option for me. I don’t really get consistent help from my child’s father so all of the pressure to provide financially, emotionally, physically, etc. falls on me. God has been the constant in my life. He has truly and continues to make ways out of no ways for my daughter and me. Knowing that He’ll never leave our side makes it easier to push through and make it happen."
I always like to say my dreams took a detour but they didn’t come to a dead end. I always knew I was going to further my education but instead of moving away to go to college I had to do what was in the best interest of my child and stay close to our support system, so I went to ECU instead. I am still trying to work toward some of my goals and aspirations and they haven’t happened as soon as they potentially could have had I not had a child but I’m determined to still accomplish them. If anything, my daughter has given me more determination to go after my dreams and aspirations. I’m who she looks up to so I have to lay the foundation to show her that no matter what, giving up is not an option. My favorite thing about being a mother is witnessing her growth. It’s like opening up a present everyday! She learns something new everyday and just seeing the transition from a baby to a toddler to my little girl is amazing. Before I know it, she’ll be transitioning into a teenager and a young lady and graduating from high school and going off to college!
My advice to any young mothers is to not give up, use your resources and to not be ashamed! Being a teen mother/young mother isn’t easy but it’s not the end of the world. You can make it and if you feel like you can’t for yourself do it for your child! Also use your resources. There’s nothing wrong with getting public assistance. I got WIC, Medicaid, and daycare assistance. I always had the mindset to use the help while I need it to get myself to the point where I will be able to provide for myself. That’s what those programs are for. Lastly don’t be ashamed. I always told myself that you don’t know what anyone is doing. My sin was visible because I ended up with a pregnant belly but you may not be any different from anyone else. They just might not have happened to get pregnant. Remember getting pregnant is not the end of the world. Christ died for your sins and remember the sin was in the sex not the baby."
Next we have the tenacious Toni Lewis.
Tell us about yourself and your child. Where are you now? What are you currently working on in life? What are your future goals and aspirations?
"My name is Toni Lewis, mother of Princeton J. Sutton. I am 25 years old and Princeton, aka “PJ”, is 2 years old. I am currently employed with the Department of Public Safety as a Probation/Parole Officer, Full-time PhD Candidate and Executive Director of The Fearless Faith Experience, INC. I am currently working on helping young men and women become contributing members of society by community engagement and life coaching/motivational speaking. My future aspiration is to motivationally speak worldwide with prayers to change the way individuals think and utilize their resources."
What were some challenges you had to overcome and/or still face being a young mother. (Family, friends, financial, society, your own mind, etc.)
"One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced was letting go of what I wanted things to be and accepting what it was. At the beginning of my pregnancy I found myself drowning in depression, not trusting God and walking in my own will. It was not until I literally “let go and let God have His way.” I had to accept that things would not always be easy, but If I let God lead then I wouldn’t be defeated."
Did your pregnancy impact your dreams and visions? Did it propel you? Did it make you more focused?
"I've heard ample amount of times that children will slow down your journey, but I beg to differ. The birth of my son provided me with a different level of motivation. I was provided the opportunity to come as one, but stand as 10,000, literally. I was granted this opportunity by no one other than myself. It was my pregnancy that awakened me to the fact that I was completely in charge of my own destiny. My pregnancy gave me the extra push to chase after dreams that most people deemed as impossible.”
What is your favorite thing about being a mother?
"My favorite thing about being a mother is to genuinely feel what it is like to be loved through all your flaws. Even after discipline…HE STILL LOVES ME.”
What advice would you give or what encouraging words would you say to young mothers out there?
Take control of your journey.
Post notes around your house for random encouragement.
Being a mother does NOT limit you.
Find a support system.
Keep chasing your dreams.”
Now allow me to introduce you to my mother, Sheri VanHook! I must say I am so proud of all she’s done and continues to do for me as well as all she does for the Kingdom of God. I couldn’t ask for a better mother. Listen to her story.
"Being a mother is the most rewarding job on the face of the planet!!! I am glad to say, that I have almost 23 years of experience at this position that requires constant flexibility, understanding, honesty and openness to share experiences and lessons learned, decision-making skills to determine the need for corrections and advice - and above all openness to God and His leading… Through it all - from conception to delivery to standing proud at her college graduation to humbly witnessing her growth - I am proud to be Rochelle’s mom. As some of you may know, she is my ‘faith child’, as I had six miscarriages before her conception - which threatened to challenge my belief that I had been called to be a mother. But our God, miraculously and mercifully proved Himself strong on my behalf!"
"I have learned that His choices and timing are perfect. Rochelle and I are a spectacular mother-daughter duo! At this point in my life (I turned 60 a couple of months ago.) I find that my daughter’s spiritual growth and revelations from the Lord, her forward approach to handling business matters, and so much more, serve as encouragement and inspiration to me, as God constantly calls me to allow Him in order to move forward in His purpose for my life. There was someone who used to be in my life who always said, “One day you are going to be old and out-of-date. You will no longer have the ‘cutting edge’ and you will be ineffective in the things that you do.” That person is no longer in the picture, but the words remained after he left. The enemy played on those words to try to get me to be discouraged and to give up on all that God had promised and all that He called me to do. ‘What does that have to do with this discussion of motherhood’, you ask? Well, this may actually have happened all along on various levels, but it is definitely true at this stage of the game: the discouraging words of the naysayers in my life have been counteracted and overcome by the constant encouragement of the child that I once had to assure along her way. I am stronger because of her being in my life! I often had to tell myself that I could continue even when things were rough because I did not want her to see me fall. It helped get me through hard times. Now I can say that I am standing stronger than ever thanks to the Lord and His mighty hand.
I thank God that those negative words no longer have impact on who I am! God spoke to me repeatedly and directly, and then He also used the most important person in my life to push me even further along the way. On Mother’s Day this year, I will be giving praise to God for being a mother. There is sooo much to thank God for in this season of stepping even further into the new season of my life! Truly, eyes have not seen and ears have not heard - neither has it entered into the heart of man what God is and will do in my life. Bless His name!!!"
Advice for moms:
"Motherhood is a God-ordained position in His Kingdom. The desire to birth and raise children is from God’s own heart, as He is The Creator God! When a woman has that desire but her body will not align with that desire: remember God is ultimately in control - hopefully of your entire surrendered life.
(1) Give Him your petition, as Hannah did.
(2) Make sure your desire can stand before God as pure. If your desire for a child is something that challenges your love and submission to God, your request is invalid.
(3) As Hannah did, align having a baby with fulfilling God’s Purpose in the earth. Sarah’s baby was about establishing the Messianic bloodline - not just fulfilling her maternal desire.
(4) Don’t be so focused on that desire for a baby that you will step out of the will of God to fulfill it. Sarai actually set up a situation that dropped a problem in her lap - not the Promise. Don’t be so hungry for something to fill your emptiness that you will accept ANYTHING from the enemy.
(5) Finally, Elizabeth and Sarah were not just ‘carelessly barren’ - their wombs were being reserved for special purposes. They both had special assignments from God for their bodies to be a part of. Wait on God’s Kairos, His appointed time. In the meantime, set your eyes on Him. That is where they always belong."