Magazine for Christian Women | When We Surrender


With Christmas around the corner, I decided to go back to the story of Jesus’ birth and really look at his mom, Mary. I wanted to transport myself there and look at the events through her eyes. What did I see? A young woman who was given a huge task that seemed to be the worst possible news she could receive—and by an angel of all things. He said, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,” (Luke 1:30-31). Such great news had she been married, but she wasn’t. 

Talk about shock. I can’t imagine being asked to do something like that, something so impossible on every level. And yet Mary humbly said, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said’” (vs. 38). Mary said yes. She had no idea where that yes would take her but she exhibited incredible trust in the God she so loved and served. 

The other impactful part of the story was her friendship with Elizabeth. Mary needed someone she could trust who would be by her side through the ups and downs of her yes. Luke 1:42 tells us that Elizabeth was Mary’s consummate encourager, “Blessed are you among women,” she says loudly and excitedly, “and blessed is the child you will bear!” And Elizabeth wasn’t just any friend. She had her own miracle story as an old woman carrying John the Baptist in her womb (impossible) who was also visited by an angel with a divine calling—a special woman like Mary.  

What an incredible picture of sisterhood we’re given through these two. Pregnant Elizabeth was there linking arms with pregnant Mary reminding her she wasn’t alone. God knew she would need the love, support, and listening ear of another woman who would help her carry out this huge calling on her life.

As you read through this issue, I want you to think of us as your “Elizabeth.” We want to walk alongside you helping you say yes to God where He asks and trusting Him with where it leads you. 

For those of you who are new to our family and those who arent’t, I want to say welcome and that, like Elizabeth, the doors of our hearts are always open to you for as long as you let us walk into your lives to encourage you on this faith journey together. 

I’m excited about this issue because I know you’ll be encouraged and pointed to the One and only Lover of your soul. We continue to learn lessons from Mary on page 26 and you’ll be able to peek into the life of a woman who has devoted her entire life taking the Good News to lost boys on the streets of Africa. Our interview with April Holden on page 20 is sure to inspire and challenge you! 

I hope you know how much you matter and that you will make yourself at home with us just as Mary did with Elizabeth. We need each other. We were never meant to do life alone—God not only gave us the Incarnation (God with us) but He gave us Elizabeth-like friends to walk alongside us. We’re honored to be that kind of friend to you through the pages of this magazine!

A Blessed Christmas from our Heart to Yours!

Shelly Esser

Please enjoy the articles JBU has shared from this issue of Just Between Us Magazine. As you read, we pray you are encouraged as you trust God through whatever trials you face; finding contentment to help you embrace your circumstances and ultimately finding the peace only God can give.


IVP | Be Kind to Yourself

IVP | Learning to Be

IVP | A Chronicle of Grief

Kregel | Wisdom


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