Luke 1:40-41 – Arriving at their home, Mary entered the house and greeted Elizabeth. At the moment her aunt heard Mary’s voice, the baby within Elizabeth’s womb jumped and kicked. And suddenly, Elizabeth was filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit!

Gratitude 698

Two women who decided to support each other. And their babies. This is how their story goes.

While there are several people involved in the stories leading up to the birth of Jesus, I think the relationship between Elizabeth and Mary is super cool and unique. And filled with lessons for us to glean from. It’s up to us whether we use their example as an opportunity to do the same today.  

The details are interesting and almost feel like a modern-day reality show. Elizabeth is Mary’s elder cousin or aunt; some family relation. Elizabeth prayed for a child for years and years and years … but it never happened. It’s her husband, Zechariah, who finds out his way-too-old wife is going to have a baby. When he doesn’t believe this, he loses his voice for months.

Then, an angel visits a very young teenager from the same family named Mary. She accepts her role to give birth to the Savior of the World. Mary yearns for a companion; someone who can try to understand what is going on. Maybe help her sort through the questions. She needs a confidant, a mentor, someone to hold her hand through these difficult moments. Someone she can trust and believe her story, as wild as it is.

Mary decides her distant relative Elizabeth, the one having a baby when she is too old to have a baby, is who can support her. Encourage her. Be with her. So,  Mary travels for several days to the village where Elizabeth and Zechariah live. She’s young. Pregnant. Confused. And yet, as soon as Elizabeth sees Mary, the baby inside Elizabeth leaps for joy and gives his stamp of approval. The babies are already connecting while still in the womb. They will be life-long friends. Their hearts will hurt for each other. They will encourage and support each other, just like their Mom’s are doing before they are even born.

Mary made a good choice to seek out Elizabeth. And Elizabeth gladly accepts Mary into her home, her heart, her secret.

We see a special relationship between Mary and Elizabeth; a wonderful example of mentorship, encouragement and coaching another person you love. Obviously from different generations, they know the other woman is the only person who might be able to relate. Understand. Accept. Thank goodness they had each other.

Throughout my life, I see so many mentors who took me under their wing and simply loved me. People who took interest in me and my life. They’ve listened, encouraged, given advice and held my hand when something went terribly wrong. When I doubted myself, these people never gave up on me. Thanks be to God.

Sometimes mentors’ journey with us for decades. Other times, they maybe part of our lives for a season. Either way, it is up to us to embrace their role and presence in our lives. They can be God’s little messengers in our lives. People like my Grandma Deaton, Daphne, Les, and Mary Ann have been so encouraging and important to me. People I know are my cheerleaders, even when I’m not able to cheer for myself.

As necessary as it is to have mentors in our lives, it is equally important that we mentor someone else. When we have experienced someone else sharing their wisdom with us, then we must embrace serving that same role in another person’s life. This is what Christian community is about: receiving and giving. Taking and sharing. Opening up ourselves to pass along the wisdom we’ve received and sharing it with someone else.

Sometimes, we may quietly coach someone for years; other times it’s for a season. Either way, we can find ourselves accepting God’s call to walk beside someone and hold their hand along the way.

Who have been the mentors and cheerleaders in your life? How have they spoken to you and made a difference? If possible, can you thank them for being an Elizabeth in your life?

Likewise, who are the Mary’s in your life that you have walked beside? Is there someone who desperately needs an Elizabeth and maybe you can fill this role? It’s not about whether you have the right skills or talents. Sometimes, it’s just being present and listening. Words are not always necessary.

Today, I give thanks for the many Elizabeth’s that God has brought into my life. I look at them and see the joy they have brought me. I give thanks for those who love me even when I’m difficult and challenging. And then, I pray that God will continue to use me with those Mary’s who are struggling right now. How might I support and encourage them? Where can I add some joy into their lives?  

We all need Elizabeth’s in our lives. And we all need to be an Elizabeth to someone else. Just ask the Mary’s in your life.

For thus wonderful story of mentoring and loving another person, I am grateful.

Blessings –


Lord God – we see this unique and special relationship between Elizabeth and Mary and yearn for this in our lives. Holy God – thank you for the Elizabeth’s who have come into my life. Maybe, I’m looking for someone to be an Elizabeth for me right now. May You help me discover who that person is. May I also embrace the opportunities to be an Elizabeth to someone else. Amen.

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