i've always thought mary as the girl who must have had it altogether. of course i look back at a story that took place thousands of years ago with this thought. so imagine with me what it meant for mary to live it.
for years she'd heard about stories of old.
of old abraham almost killing his only son issac.
of issac giving the birthright to jacob rather than esau.
of jacob having an amazing dream that drew him closer to God.
of joseph going from pit to power.
then of the romance of ruth and boaz.
of the chapters of king david's life.
sayings from the prophets.
Scriptures foretold.
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." Isaiah 7.14
and then silence. 400 years of silence. 
my guess is that mary never thought herself THAT virgin!
yet Luke 1 records,
"And the angel answered her, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.'" 
how did she experience this moment of divine interaction?
to have the Holy Spirit come upon her and power of the Most High to overshadow her.
the baby in her womb was created by God pure and holy.
without sin. God incarnate. God in flesh come.
yet heart beating.
feet kicking.
tumbling in the womb.
oh the miracle birthed within mary.
to encounter the Trinity -
God initiated.
Jesus came very near.
Holy Spirit covered and protected.
Luke 1 continues,
"And Mary said, 'Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.' And the angel departed from her."
in her humble obedience,
mary became mom before wife.
she broke cultural boundaries.
she walked the market streets among glares and stares.
her life would never be the same.
the plans she had been making were interrupted.
oh, but the inside of her heart and soul!
she was carrying the Son of God.
her husband, Joseph, was on the same page with her
despite culture and law.
she feared the Lord and it led to life. (prov. 19.23)
she was at peace doing God's will for her life.
my friends, the Holy Spirit is still into overshadowing!
He calls us to Himself. to experience the life He wants for us. to give up our ways of doing things and surrender to His very best.
to let Him renew, comfort, guide, and empower.
just as the psalmist wrote in chapter 91
you and i can presently abide in His shadow.
if we asked mary
i'm sure she'd say it was the best thing that happened to her!