Editor’s Note: On this eighteenth day of our Advent blog series “Hidden Joys,” Overseas Lay Missioner Julia Pinto reflects on the importance of relying on God despite the unknowns in her life, as Mary did.

When Mary came to terms with the fact that the Son of God would be growing within her womb, she must have had – I believe – natural questions arise in her heart: Who would believe that she had immaculately conceived this child? What would Joseph say, and what would he do when she told him the news? How was she supposed to raise an unexpected child, let alone the King of kings? 

As I tackle major decisions in my life and ponder some challenging invitations from the Lord, my mind sometimes wanders to Mary’s experience and intriguing response to Angel Gabriel. She had few answers and little certainty for her life after the moment of the angel’s visit, yet she trusted God to somehow provide for her each step of the way. I must admit that I still have not reached Mary’s level of openness to the perfect will of God; my mind dwells on the question marks and anxiously grasps for clarity and definiteness. No, God is not asking me (thankfully) to bear Him a surprise baby at this moment, but what would it take for me to say yes to something that would create a similar shift in my sense of control and how I think my life “should” play out?

We do not know what will happen, but Jesus knows all of it. Wherever life has you right now, there is so much that is unknown, that invites us to rely on Him. I think the answer to the anxiety in facing uncertainty is to know that we are deeply loved. Mary knew that the God who was asking hard, unimaginable things of her would faithfully care for her and her little family and not abandon them. 

Lord, please grant us the same faith in You that Mary had, that we may say yes to the unknowns in our lives, confidently knowing that You will meet us there and guide us by the hand. 

Reflection: What future things do you spend a significant amount of time planning/predicting/figuring out? What would it take for you to trust God’s loving invitation to surrender control and accept the unknowns?