How Did She Do It?


When I look at Mary, and all that becoming the mother of  Jesus entailed, I wonder … How?

How did a young girl say yes to assignment so big?

You see, I haven’t always done so well with assignments not nearly so big.


The tears just wouldn’t quit falling as I sat in the empty room.

Only days before, this space had been filled with stockings, a soaring Christmas tree and family and friends surrounding us. Now, only two days later, the room was desolate. The only thing in it being my crying family and me.

My husband had learned his company was going to relocate us. And although it was a good career move for him, it really didn’t feel like advancement for me, moving 1,000 miles from my community of friends, with two little children and one more on the way.

I was wrestling to not make it all about me, but this move was not according to my plan. As I hugged my little ones close, I thought, How can I do this … while I’m pregnant?

There was no time to figure that out.

I could hear the moving truck pulling out of the driveway, and it was time to load up the little ones and head south. God had given us an assignment and it was our turn to follow His lead, with all of my doubts in tow.

I wonder if Mary felt a bit similar, possibly feeling that her assignment was greater than the confidence she had.

Her change of plans was much greater than a cross-country move.

Picture Mary, engaged to a great guy. Wedding plans in motion. Then, her dreams are interrupted with a dialog with an angel: “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.’” (Luke 1:30-31)

When Mary received this news, she didn’t react in fear or doubt, as I had done. Instead her reaction was grounded in faith: “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38a)

Mary responded with confidence because her confidence began with a relationship with God. Instead of building her confidence on something she could lose or have taken, she built her confidence on Him.

Not on something, like her reputation. That was outside her control.

Not on someone, like Joseph. For all she knew, he would leave her once he learned she was pregnant.

Not on some place, like her home, as I had done. After hearing from the angel, Mary actually left town, where she would have been comfortable, to visit her cousin Elizabeth.

Did Mary understand everything God was doing? Unlikely. Or resent what He was doing? Doesn’t appear so.

Would others judge her? No doubt they would, but Mary didn’t allow people’s opinions to prevent her from embracing God’s calling, even if she didn’t completely understand it. The lack of details didn’t impact her confidence in His plans for her life, nor her trust in Him to take care of her.

We see in Mary: when we are right where God wants us, we can experience Christ Confidence even in the face of chaos.

There have been so many times in my life when my confidence has been shaken. As a mom, when my kids made mistakes, as a professional when my work was rejected and yes, when I moved 1,000 miles away … in each of these situations, the foundation of my confidence has been rattled.

Yet as I grow in my faith, I’m desperately trying to follow Mary’s lead. I’m learning that confidence built on people or positions is a confidence built on unsolid ground. Someone, something or some place will let us all down at some point. When we build our confidence on Christ, by spending time in His Word, when difficult times come, our firm foundation will be stable in Him.

The Lord used that move so many years ago, faithfully bringing me to a place where my gifts would grow. I should have known, as although it was far from easy, just like He was to Mary, the Lord is always faithful.

Dear Jesus, it’s easier to build my confidence on what I can see and what I know. Help me build my confidence on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I would love to hear from you:

Has there been a time when circumstances were less than perfect and your confidence was shaken?

What steps can you take to build your confidence on Christ alone?

I hope that you have been joining me for the Make Your Move interview series on Facebook Live. Each Wednesday, I have been interviewing women who have made their move and overcome, whether that has been tragedy (rape), prejudice, words spoken over their lives, divorce and more! Watch past interviews and join us for news on my Facebook page. Click here.  

(If you don’t have Facebook, you can also find the videos on my You Tube channel. Just click here.)



Make Your Move: Finding Unshakable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures, empowers women with a confidence that can withstand even shaky situations! Get your copy of this six-session Bible study (DVD/digital video sold separately) here.



  1. This is exactly what I needed to hear/read!! You see I’m 2 weeks into a new job that is not what I trained for. However I volunteered for!! I sensed I was supposed to help out when the previous person quit. Since accepting the job however, I’ve been unsure of my decision because it’s hard, it’s beyond me, it’s exhausting. I can’t sleep on many nights due to worry. And my testimony? Instead of saying with God all things are possible, I’m sharing about my fears and my anxieties. Please forgive me Lord and give me faith like Mary.
    Thank you Lynn for this timely message.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      You are so welcome, Joy! If He has assigned you to it, He will empower you through it!

  2. I recently had to make a move from one State to another and leave behind my family that I have lived with or around all my life. To say I was afraid, would be an understatement. I was Petrified! But, I’m two months into the move now and am finding that things are never as bad as what you think they’re going to be as along as you lean on Him and trust in his guidance.

  3. Almost 27 years ago I left the “security” of a job that I loved in a less-than-desired location to follow a dream that I sincerely believed that God had given me that took me, then a 27 year-old adventurous, independent woman, 2500 miles away from everything familiar. All kinds of things fell into place for me to go, and I had so many conversations with God about this that, to use a more modern analogy, I’m surprised that He didn’t start blocking my calls because I was certainly blowing up his line-nonstop! I drove, and I KNOW that the Holy Spirit rode shotgun LOL. I had no job to go to, only a dream, and even after I rolled into Los Angeles EVERYTHING continued to fall into place-a job and a nice apartment, until a few months later when the recession hit and the bottom dropped out of everything for a lot of people, including me. I had always been a spiritual person, but it was out there where a young street evangelist gave me a Bible, which I still have and cherish. A year later I moved to San Diego and while working a Christmas gig at Michaels met a woman by the name of Valerie Hailey who led me to Christ and even found a place for me to be baptized (in an apartment complex swimming pool by another young preacher with little kids watching out of a window nearby). So many doors continued to open for me, and even though the landing was rough from time to time, it is wild how GOD ALWAYS MADE A WAY, ALWAYS, ALWAYS provided. I left California in 1997 to move back home to the South- and He opened another supernatural door for that to happen, too. Over the years I have learned, even during those times when my natural inclination is to freak out and worry, that I have to just sit down, take a deep breath and remember ALL of the GOOD things that the Lord has done for me in my life. He will NEVER, EVER let us down, even when we have NO CLUE what He is up to. We have to just trust HIM, like Mary did. Now I’ll get off of my soapbox. I apologize for the novella LOL. God bless, and have a Merry Christmas!

  4. Jennifer Norwood says:

    I need to build my confidence in Christ in the coming year after my marriage of over 26 years was ended by my husband this year. Please pray for me and my 2 daughters, Kendall and Grace. Thank you for providing this encouragement and help: )

  5. I pray that I can support my brother in his walk with Christ. He is a Christian who struggles with depression and I know that increased confidence in Christ would give him the strength to stay in peace.

  6. Tina Bliss says:

    Thank you for your true kindness and love that you share to us from God. I could tell that’s he’s with you and build your confidence. I would love to continues to build my conference with God as well. Also For my daughters and for my Marriage. My husband got laid off in August. I’m praying to God to give my husband his Love and conference to start over again. And to let him know , that’s alright. We as a family will pray together and get through this in the New Year to come , very soon. I need this teaching for myself as well. It has been very difficult in the last four months for us. God have Mercy on us all. ??

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Thank you so much for sharing your family’s struggles, Tina! You inspire me to trust in God and place all of my faith in Him as well!

      Lord, You are our provider. We trust that You will provide for Tina’s family and through this process, develop in them a depth of faith, trust and confidence in you that they did not have before. Amen

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