Over the past few years, the Lord has been kind enough to teach me through putting words in my life—usually by repeating them enough times that I can’t miss it.

It’s not an exact science, but there have been certain words for certain seasons.

I distinctly remember when I was about to graduate from college that I kept coming across the word “amen”. In songs, in verses, and in all the endings I could not avoid during that time of life.

And in that season I wrote:

Honestly, who even thinks about the word “amen”? Not me, normally. “In-Jesus’-name-amen” has just become part of the Christianese tradition that we tack on at the end of our prayers like one run-together buzzword.

But this one little word has become the one word I’m clinging to while I’m trying to cope with all this transition.
To me, it just means: so be it. I agree. Let it be so.

Regardless of whether I like what is happening to me or not, let it be so.

Even if I’m sad and confused and scared and super sentimental all the time, so be it.

Whatever you’re doing, Lord, I agree.

Mary is about the best role model I could ask for when it comes to learning how to say amen to the Lord. Not just amen at the end of my prayers or after other people’s, but amen to every single thing the Lord chooses to do in my life.

Mary found out—from an angel—that she is going to be supernaturally pregnant and unmarried in a culture where she would be shunned—and oh, by the way, your baby is going to be God—and her immediate response is “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

If she can do that, I think I can graduate.

And from Mary I learned how to close a chapter that I didn’t want to end.

But at that point, my “amens” felt grand. They felt like a big finale to a beautiful season that deserved a dramatic curtain drop.

And now, my circumstances have drastically switched. Instead of being in a time of transition, I am in a time of investment. Instead of picking up and leaving, I am putting down roots with every intention of staying. I’m making new traditions instead of mourning the old ones.

And oddly enough, the principle of amen remains the same.

As a woman in this season, I find that most of the time, my mood and the status of my heart are dictated by my emotions—no matter how valid those feelings may be.

Now, instead of big moves or first jobs, it’s just the daily routine—the ups and downs of sadness and fear and doubt and frustration all clamoring to set the tone of my life.

My daily spiritual disciplines are more about fighting the noise of my emotions to try to land at a gentle and quiet spirit—a soul at rest that isn’t frantically striving after compliments or comfort or a season that isn’t mine to claim.

And making a habit of saying amen to the Lord seems to be my only shot at tossing down an anchor amid the waves of emotions—emotions that can be deceitful and convincing and sometimes just plain inaccurate.

The amens I need now are not loud and grand and profound. They are whispered and frequent and sometimes forced—me making myself acknowledge what is true even when it doesn’t feel like it is.

Amen to His timing, not mine. Amen to His choices, not mine. Amen to His priorities, not mine.

Whatever You’re doing, Lord, let it be so.

I’m sure Mary’s big moment of saying “So be it” to the Lord wasn’t her first. I’m sure there were many moments before that—the ones that tested her resolve and built her faith and proved His faithfulness.

So as women who ride the waves of emotions more often than we would even like to admit, may “Amen!” be our battle cry too as we fight for anchored lives and souls at rest.

Haley Barinowski

Haley is a shameless Clemson fanatic who believes in dessert, Christmas lights, and throwing football. She loves good books, good pens, and good runs. She attends our Downtown campus.