Merry Christmas 2009
I know it seems like the holidays come and go quickly every year, but for some reason this year they seem especially fast. I hate that you almost can't help but miss the reason for the season with all the chaos everywhere. I do however love that even people claiming to be atheists find themselves humming "Silent Night" this time of year. I know I usually have some cute top 10 list for the year or at least a cute picture of the pups for the Christmas card. Not this year. Fail on all counts! I've written exactly one Christmas card, I'm too tired to think of 10 interesting things that happened this year and the dogs don't honestly want to wear Santa hats I'm sure. So, you're stuck with me and just a regular Christmas letter. Ha!
I'm sure this year had some funny moments. I can almost guarantee it had some embarrassing ones. There were some hard moments and difficult circumstances. There were opportunities for rest and some sleepless nights. A balanced mix of joy and sorrow. You know-a regular life. But as I've thought back over this year in the past few days the resounding theme has been the faithfulness of God. I can't get past it and there's nothing else I'd rather write about. I would not be surprised if I will return to 2009 the rest of my life as a significant turning point with the Lord. And He for sure deserves all the credit.
I still stand in amazement at how things have unfolded. I can't really put my finger on why it suddenly became a panicked priority to get seriously back on track with the Lord at whatever cost, but it was. I can't explain why suddenly I had to go to church again. I can't explain why after not going to church for several years I just wanted to sit on the floor and cry when I couldn't be there. I don't know why I had to have a Bible Study at my house even if I was the only one who came. I don't know why it didn't matter what I had to do-I had to find Him.
The only thing I do know? He never let's go.
I just cannot believe what had to fall into place in order for me to stand spiritually where I am today (and not that I've arrived in any way!). That God has been reinstated into the forefront of my life is in itself a great gift from His gracious hand. It makes me want to cry that even when I felt so far removed from the body of Christ, He was putting people and circumstances into place that would line up perfectly when my heart was willing to surrender. I could give you 100 examples. I'll spare you, but trust me-it's amazing!
I'm thankful for:
-A church that I just about literally have to break my neck to get to on Sunday mornings and that there's nowhere else I'd rather be.
-People who love the Lord and are walking, talking examples of what it means to truly live for Him. People who are further down the road with the Lord. People who's lives are echoing, "He can be trusted." Not perfect people-just people in love with a perfect God.
-A year of many, many lessons most of which will continue into next year along with some new ones I'm sure.
-That God never, ever gives up on us. When we are His, he will forever call to us, He will forever draw us to Himself, and He will love us in the process.
This Christmas I could care less if I get one gift or one card or one Christmas hug even though I love all those things. I have already found everything I need and more in new and different ways this year. The true gift of Christmas started in a manger, hung on a cross and sits at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf. It's more than enough that He volunteered to be our Savior. May you experience His transforming love this season and make Him also Lord of your life.
Brenda, Odyssey, Ella, and Shine