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The story of Mary, mother of the Messiah, seems pretty straightforward. Prophetic word, eventually supportive husband, manger, wise men, the end. This year was the first time I stopped to consider that for Mary, this was only the beginning.

As the storytellers would have it, after nativity, Mary fades into the background. She’s still there, but now the spotlight is on Jesus. Because of this, I never really thought about how much more she’d have to give and grow and stretch beyond the physical manifestation of God’s promise to her as she mothers Jesus.

This Christmas, as I sit on the cusp of my own breakthroughs, the nativity sets the stage for a perfect illustration of how God moves as He ushers us towards the fulfillment of our purpose.

Purpose is not a mountaintop. It is not a final destination that we can reach by checking off a bunch of tasks on a list. Purpose is the constant pursuit of becoming who you were formed to be. It is a constant stretching and leveling up and transforming.

Purpose is a lifetime’s worth of mountaintops and valleys. When Mary birthed Jesus, that was a mountaintop, but it was not the mountaintop because there isn’t just one.

As the new year looms down the street, this is the energy I greet her with. It is my intention to follow my inner voice towards what feels like me. It is there where I will climb mountains and traverse valleys towards what feels like home.