Leading up to Christmas, I wasn’t in the spirit as I usually am. I wasn’t as giddy as I usually am. I wasn’t as warm and cozy as I usually am.
There was unease, anxiety, something unsettling I was having a hard time identifying.
I could blame the lack of many friend/family get togethers.
I could blame our lame, warm weather.
I could blame being unable to go and do many Christmas-y outings.
I could blame current events.
I could blame a host of things (Man, I’m pretty good at placing blame).
So what was it really?
And then… Christmas day came and Christmas spirit arrived, and I was overjoyed! I had such jubilee! I was overcome with the joy and sweetness of what the holiday was about. Christ has come! It was beautiful! A release, a salvation of the season, and all the warm fuzzies I loved showed up! It was like being rescued!
As we went through this book this season, I realized how obvious the recurrent theme of the Bible was so in my face: God wants to be man’s friend, man forgets about God, God reconciles, man forgets again, God reconciles, again and again… you get the drift. It’s exhausting and sad and yet I was so amazed when I really thought about how patient God is.
I realize now that this Christmas was more Christmas-y than ever. The weight of the world’s hurts, knowing so many I love were choosing to be without God’s peace – it was, and still is, such a time of despair. And then Christ comes and it is SUCH a joyous time, it is such a time of rejoicing, such a time of jubilee. And still, STILL, I feel pulled between the two – the despair and the joy.
And honestly? I think that’s the truest place I could be.
This world is not our home, this time of joy is surrounded by the despair of the world who has not come to know Him and the desperate desire of my heart that all my know. It’s hard for the heart to handle, but it’s right. It’s true for this world. My joy of the saving grace Christ brings never leaves, never ends, and at the same time, my heart breaks for those without that grace, and even those with it that still suffer. It’s a lot for this weary heart to hold.
As 2016 barrled in fast, I am tempted to make some goals. You know, eat healthier, take more pictures, get outside more, learn more Spanish. But it’s really different this time. Those are just my secondary desires. I have something bigger in mind.
I’m usually intimidated by the new year but this time, my desperate longings are leading me to be more bold, less afraid, more dependant on Him who wants what my heart longs for – more intimacy with Him. My word (#oneword2015) for last year was “intimacy” and despite having forgotten about it pretty early on in the year, my intimacy with Christ was still grown. Beautifully. And I want everyone to experience it. Every living, breathing soul on this planet, regardless of age, race, gender. I am feeling desperate for others to get to know Him. If I’m gonna have a role in all this, it requires a new word for 2016.
I’ve learned when I pray to God, He listens and he answers and honest prayers are not to be said lightly. So I pray for God to use me and hope that it doesn’t hurt too much. Then I pray for God to help me look to His Son so that, whatever the hurt, it doesn’t matter. I want, at any cost, to be an example for my kids. I want to be a reflecting light for those seeking light. I want those not seeking to not be able to ignore the light in me any longer. I wanna LOVE my enemies. And not, just, you know, pray kinda for em, I wanna love them. I wanna be fearless when it comes to my faith. I wanna love BIG. I don’t know what the details may look like, and many of them may be hidden, and I’m a little nervous, but…
…here we go.
P.S.- if anyone at anytime thought of Milli Vanilli while reading this, *HIGH FIVE*