About this time last year I had a somewhat perplexing dream. In this dream, I was about five months pregnant. Now, for starters, I’m not married and had no reason to be pregnant. I was trying to deny it, but my mid-section was clearly swelling and it wasn’t from too many tasty empanadas from the corner Cuban café. In my dream, I asked a trusted friend what she thought. To my dismay, she said, “You’re definitely pregnant!”

To say I was none too happy would be a monumental understatement. A flood of thoughts rushed at me in my dream state. “How will I get all my work done with a newborn baby to care for? I’m too busy for this! My life is challenging enough as it is. This is certainly no time to complicate things with a baby!” I thought to myself. Even still, I knew there was no way of escape on this one. I had a sense that I really didn’t have a choice in the matter. This baby was coming in about four months whether I liked it or not.

Then I woke up…perplexed. Of course, I’m not spiritually dense. I understood the overarching meaning of the dream. God was birthing a new thing in my life. We were a little more than halfway through the incubation process, and I needed to align my will with His in a hurry. My fellow prophets chimed in as to what this “baby” could be. Some said it was a new ministry. Others said it would ultimately be a good thing though times were likely to get rough over the next few months. They were all right.

It’s interesting how God gives His prophets different angles on a thing and at times they seem almost to contradict one another, but in the end you can see how it all fits together. The Messianic prophecies are a good example. But I digress. Or do I? It’s been almost a year since I had that dream, and I’ve had others about the baby as both an infant and a toddler since then. The Lord recently brought these things to my remembrance while I was reading about Mary, the human mother of Jesus, and a Messianic prophecy she received that changed her life. And there’s a lesson in it for us all in this year of new beginnings.

You’ll remember when the angel Gabriel, often seen delivering messages to God’s people, found Mary in Nazareth. Gabriel told Mary she was highly favored of the Lord, and blessed among women. Then Gabriel delivered his prophetic message: “You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus” (Luke 1:31 NIV). Mary was perplexed and asked the angel how it was possible, seeing as she was a virgin.

Imagine the flood of thoughts rushing through Mary’s mind. She wasn’t married, so turning up pregnant would be more than a little inconvenient to her lifestyle. Unlike my superficial complaints over finding time to get my work done with a newborn’s diapers to change, Mary’s prophetic revelation could have cost her everything. Not only was she in danger of losing Joseph, the love of her life, she could also find herself on trial for fornication. Fornication was reason enough to be stoned under Mosaic Law. Mary probably met with demon-inspired imaginations about her fate.

Then Gabriel answered Mary. “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1: 35). Gabriel also gave her two other insights. He told Mary that her cousin, Elisabeth, who had been barren, was pregnant in her old age. He also told her all things were possible with God. At this news, Mary probably remembered Abraham and Sara’s miracle baby and began to put her faith in God.

“Mary responded, ‘I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true’” (Luke 1:38 NLT). Mary displayed willingness and obedience to allow the Lord to use her however He chose. I don’t believe He would have used her if she had not been willing and obedient. God will not violate our own will. That’s why, after I awakened from my pregnancy dream, it wasn’t so much about getting revelation on exactly what I was birthing. It was about lining up my will with God’s will in the matter.

Let’s get real. Birthing anything, from a baby to a ministry to a business, is hard work. It changes your life. It forces you to get more disciplined. It challenges you to go deeper in God to find the grace you need to meet with the spiritual stretching you will no doubt experience. Indeed, birthing new things demands many adjustments. That’s why so many people have aborted the call of God on their lives. It’s not that they couldn’t yield to the Spirit of God and work with Him to birth something new. It’s that they were not willing.

I believe God is birthing new things – and He needs people who are like Mary, willing and obedient to allow the Lord to do what He pleases for His glory. Notice I say for His glory. Mary gave birth to Jesus not for herself, but so the sin of the world could be taken away. Whatever the Lord chooses to birth through us – a song, a book, or an entire ministry – remember that it’s not about you. It’s about the people who need what you are carrying. You aren’t carrying the Savior of the world, but you may very well be carrying something that will save people a lot of pain, bring people greater understanding of God’s Word, or give people the hope of fulfilling their purpose and destiny in Christ. Isn’t it worth it?

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