Barren No More

I have the incredible privilege of introducing you to one of my favorite Christian authors. Tamera Alexander will steal your heart away in the first page with her inventive and engaging writing style. Her thievery as an author is due to her heart long ago being stolen by God. After you read her post, you will definitely want to order her latest book, A Lasting Impression. Please help me welcome Tamera!

by Tamera Alexander

About a month ago, Shannon asked if I’d be interested in writing about how a certain Biblical character speaks into my own personal Christmas story this year. She gave me a brief list of names and my eye went to one.


The account about her in Luke chapter one is brief, but revealing. She was older in life, barren, unable to conceive, and bore the shame of that unwanted distinction for years and years. Yet she enjoyed the honor of giving birth to the forerunner of our Savior at so untimely a place in her life. She was called righteous, along with her husband Zachariah, and was one of the first women to be noted as being "filled with the Holy Spirit."

She was careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. So therefore, she was familiar with them. After all, in order to keep a law you first have to know and understand it. I wonder if she was familiar with the scroll of Isaiah? And if she ever lingered over this verse and prayed even more earnestly for her son, John, as he grew. “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”

When I read that verse with the heart of a mother for her son, the words wilderness and desert stand out to me. And not in a good way. Because what mother wants her son to be in a wilderness? Or in a desert? Having been barren for the majority of her life, Elizabeth knew what being alone felt like. She would never have wished that for her child. Yet she was faithful to the task God called her to fulfill. To be mother to the one who would prepare the way for Immanuel––God with us.
God also used Elizabeth in a mighty way to confirm His plans in Mary's life. "You are blessed," Elizabeth said to Mary, "because you believed that the Lord would do what he said." She spoke affirmation and encouragement in the face of a nearly impossible road ahead for Mary, and helped her to keep believing in God's sovereign hand. Which then Mary responds with the ever popular "Magnificat: Mary's song of praise."

In the hustle and bustle of Christmas this year, I’m holding the memory of Elizabeth close, and am reminded that God will send people into our lives who are hungry for Him, who need a word of encouragement to follow Him, or maybe need a verbal hug to keep walking through the wilderness or desert that He's intentionally leading them through. Who knows…perhaps it was Elizabeth's timely word of encouragement that led Mary to the place where she could sing her song of praise.

Hear what Elizabeth’s life and legacy says to you and me: God is trustworthy, even in the barren places. His timing is impeccable. And He always keeps His promises. Always.

Blessings this Christmas and in the coming New Year,


Tamera Alexander is the best-selling author of Rekindled, Revealed and Remembered, the critically acclaimed Fountain Creek Chronicles historical series with Bethany House Publishers, along withFrom a Distance, Beyond This Moment, and Within My Heart (Timber Ridge Reflections series). Her historical romances—including The Inheritance with Thomas Nelson—penned in her style with deeply drawn characters, thought-provoking plots, and poignant prose have earned her devoted readers—and multiple industry awards.

After living in Colorado for seventeen years, Tamera has returned to her Southern roots. She and her husband now make their home in Nashville with Tamera's father, Doug. They enjoy life there with Joe and Tamera's two adult children, and Jack, a precious—and precocious—silky terrier.

Connect with Tamera online at her websiteblog, on Facebook and on Twitter.


  1. Beautiful post, Tamera! I have often wondered what Elizabeth may have thought and experienced. And you're right, she was a blessing and an encouragement to Mary, who certainly needed encouragement.

    Thanks Shannon, for having Tamera over as a guest writer. :-)

  2. I love the story of Elizabeth, and how God used her to encourage Mary. For years I've used the stories of Elizabeth, Mary, Simeon and Anna in Bible study lessons I've taught during the Christmas season. I believe all four stories speak to God's trustworthiness and faithfulness to keep His promises.

  3. Jesus and My Orange Juice, what a great title, Shannon !

    I enjoy Tamera's writing so very much and her love for the Lord is evident in her words. Elizabeth is a beautiful person and example for women; her trust and faith in our Lord, and how she was used to prepare our Lord's mother. Encouragement among women is so important and Elizabeth is a special reminder of that.

  4. Good Morning Tamera and Shannon,
    I woke up this morning feeling a bit like Elizabeth, old and barren! thanks for the encouragement. I feel better now!
    God's richest blessings for a Merry Christmas!

  5. Thank you so much for taking a time out and reminding us of the story of women in the Bible who were so vital in our Heavenly Father's plan. I will remember that even the smallest bits of encouragement can share the Father through me and possibly help them come to know His love as well.
    God Bless!

  6. I often wonder about Elizabeth when I pray the Rosary on the "Joyful Mysteries" with the 2nd mystery being Mary's visit. She was so humble and unselfish. I not only hope to have just some of Mary's attributes, but Elizabeth's as well.

    You're right, I want the book now :)

  7. A beautiful reminder and inspiration. As much as we want to hold on to Faith daily, the reminders are always welcome and helpful. Thanks for sharing.


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