I write because it helps me to express what it is that I am going through, or how the Lord has ministered to me. I pray that the Lord can use my writings as a way to encourage someone else who may be going through a trial of any magnitude, but my bigger prayer is that I don't just make this about ME. That is why it is good to step away for a time of refreshment.
I can tell you that the one thing that keeps me going...keeps me taking one step in front of the other and persevering...is the Lord's promises. The bible has thousands of promises for us to cling to in our time of need. I hold tight to the promise that my God will take special care of me. Being a widow, a title that I still struggle with, the Lord is faithful to let me know just how special I am to Him and the lengths to which He will go to protect me and care for me. Check out this scripture promise:
"Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless." Exodus 22:22-24
Wow...that is a powerful scripture promise to me, and warning to anyone else that might do harm to me. Even in my deep sorrow, JOY resides in my heart knowing that I am covered, sheltered and protected by His wings. I praise YOU God!
I can't tell you that I have walked perfectly upright, but even in my struggles with moving forward, the Lord has been faithful to meet me where I am at and help me to take those steps of faith. When I have been unable to pray; Jesus makes it known that HE has interceded on my behalf. When I have not been faithful to get into the Word, my ABBA, has brought scripture to me. He never allows me to be alone. (Deuteronomy 31:6) Thank You Father!
In this season, my Christmas season...I have found it difficult to set my eyes solely on the things from Above and to remember that the ONLY reason I celebrate Christmas at all is because Jesus CHRIST was born. It has been all too easy to look around and focus on the busyness of gathering presents, putting up decorations, and all of the holiday baking that happens...and the TRUE meaning of Christmas is quickly forgotten.
In addition to the madness that is commercial Christmas, I have suffered the loss of my Jay. That makes it very difficult to even grasp the desire to celebrate anything. As a matter of fact, my grief brings about the desire to hide more than anything else.
Sometimes it seems like life would be a lot easier to deal with if I could just go hide somewhere until enough time had passed that I could face everything and everyone with some ease. BUT, where is my lesson in that? If I hid from everything, the Lord would still minister to me where I am at, but how could He really use that situation to show me what He is capable of, as well as speak to others and encourage them that they can make it through their trial too, and not only make it through, but receive true healing in the process? How does hiding glorify God? Bottom line: It DOESN'T!
So, where Thanksgiving was the holiday where I hid myself away almost that entire weekend; my Christmas will be dedicated to Jesus. I am choosing to be seen. I am choosing to allow the Lord to move through me. Speak through me. I may not "feel" like I'm in the Christmas spirit, but what I feel does not matter. The truth of the matter is this...CHRIST was born! And on December 25th, HE is to be praised, thought of, prayed to, and thanked for all that He has done for us and given to us.
Let this be my focus:
"For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" Luke 2:11-14
It is through the birth, death and resurrection of this Savior that my husband was saved and is spending this Christmas singing praises directly to God, the Father. And although I grieve, I cannot help but have the most beautiful visual of Jay in his perfect heavenly body, singing praises with the choir of angels to the Lord Who SAVES. That is where my focus needs to be! The birth of my Savior brings about HOPE in my heart. Without Jesus, there is NO hope.
Forgive me, Father, for my lack of focus on the real reason why I celebrate Christmas. I turn my eyes and heart to You now and ask that You refresh my soul as You are faithful to do so. Thank YOU for loving me so much that You sent Your son Jesus Christ to be born and to die for me, so that I may be forgiven of my sin and receive eternal life. Thank You for protecting me, guiding me, providing for me, and carrying me through this time in my life. Thank You that I need only to give my grief to You and You are faithful to exchange it for YOUR joy. Thank You for helping me to dream again. Thank You for Your HOPE. I commit my life to You and I commit this Christmas to You. In Jesus' precious name. Amen.