From Handmaid to Madonna: a journey fraught with agony
My father asked me to keep the strangest parts of this story to myself, but I’ve always worked my thoughts out best when I put them on parchment. So, this journey begins the day an angel informed me I would have a baby—before I was even married.
On that day, the girl who loved her goats and spent time making cheese to sell disappeared.
Once Joseph realized I hadn’t betrayed him, life settled into a new pattern. In the next few years, I traveled further than I had in the fourteen years before them. But my spiritual pilgrimage had barely begun.
“You’ll call him Jesus,” Yahweh’s messenger told me. The old man in the temple prophesied that my soul would be pierced with many sorrows. From Judea to Egypt and back to Nazareth, swords of sorrow struck my heart and mind.
Jesus was only the first of five sons I would mother, but his life changed us all. For the better, yes, praise Yahweh. But not without conflict.
God’s promises always come to pass. Could I learn to embrace the painful with the same sincerity as the joyful?
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Sister and Servant: A Life of Sacrifice and Love
Martha was never meant to be the head of her household, but a plague left her as the main caretaker for her piecemeal family. She is too busy juggling responsibilities to worry about her siblings Lazarus and Mary’s expectations that Yeshua of Nazareth is Messiah.
Then she meets Yeshua face to face. A single look from him and Martha’s heart knows that he is Israel’s Messiah. But undone work awaits, and Martha ignores the guilt of placing her worldly obligations before G-d—until Lazarus lies gravely ill.
The Lord’s Anointed arrives too late to save Lazarus but asks Martha to place her faith in him. She believes he’s the One but is still amazed when he calls Lazarus from the dead, proving to all he is Messiah.
Still, many don’t believe, and word of Yeshua’s miracle ultimately leads to his crucifixion. Martha’s family is shattered once more by a beloved’s death. Will faith allow her to set aside the weight of responsibility without stopping her loving service for others?
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Orphan to Saint: A choice to worship not worry
My life went from dull to dazzling in an instant. Yeshua of Nazareth came to Jerusalem, and as soon as we met him, my brother Lazarus and I knew: He was Messiah.
I love him more than I ever thought possible. He really sees me. All I can dream of is a future with Him. But instead of making things easier, the adoration I feel tugs my young heart through tunnels of sorrow upon loss upon amazement and back to crushing anguish.
Bethany has been my whole world, but Yeshua’s arrival showed me how small I’d dreamed. With his encouragement, I learn to worship and listen to the gentle voice in my spirit. From an orphan of a weaver to the feet of Yeshua, the Lord’s Annointed, my love for the Lord requires more than my heart.
It will remake every dream I ever dreamed. Can I accept G-d’s will? Or will I fight to keep the dream I imagined alive?
Mary of Bethany’s story is available in Paperback and eBook