Their voices. Whispered secrets. Bold insinuations. The look – right through me – as though I don’t exist. Or worse yet, the other look – as though I were something foul they just scraped off their shoe. Silence greets me when kindness is so desperately wanted.
Then old voices chime in. The ones that I think have been banished long ago, in the past, over and done with. But lo and behold, they have returned, echoing through my mind.
I question my actions and words repeatedly. Maybe if I had said this… If only I had done this, or not done that, it might have been better… What if? If only. Why am I such a misfit?
Oh dear God, how can my heart get hurt so quickly? Why am I never good enough? How can I be so awkward? And what can I do to silence those voices from the past?
And then God gently reminds me that what others think of me, or do to me, is not where my worth comes from. My worth comes from the Creator Himself. He made me in His own image and loves me, ME! Unimaginable.
God loves me so much, in fact, that He sent His Son for me.
” ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.’ ” ~ John 3:16
And I am a child of God.
“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.” ~ 1 John 3:1
Sometimes I need to reevaluate my boundaries. There are people who are so difficult that I simply must guard my heart. My little picket fence with the unlocked gate needs fortification and must become a wall with a locked gate.
But there are other times that the pain is unavoidable. When I open myself up to try to love, as God has called me to love, I am vulnerable. Those are the times when I run to my Father God, crawl into His big Daddy lap, and weep. Weep for those who hurt me, for myself, for this fallen and broken world, for damaged relationships and torn families. And then He comforts me, wipes away my tears, silences the lies rattling around in my mind, reminds me that He loves me, that He is greater than he that is in this world (1 John 4:4), that He will never, ever abandon me (Hebrew 13:5). That it’s all going to be okay.
Why do I share this? Because although this is the most joyous and merry of seasons, it can also be painful as we deal with difficult people. And maybe God can make something beautiful out of the mangled ashes of my heart tonight and bring some comfort and joy to somebody who might need to read this. Or maybe I simply needed to remind myself of these things.
Because it really will all be okay. God’s mercies ARE new every morning and our hope IS in Him (Lamentations 3:21-26). His word is true (John 17:17), He is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9), He is the giver of all good things (James 1:17). And He has promised to prepare us a place with Him in heaven and is coming back for us (John 14:2-4).
So I will: Take time to breathe and just be. Trust in God. Love, even if it hurts. Laugh. Pray. Take joy in the jewels of each day, treasuring each and every moment. Forgive myself, and forgive others. Let Jesus in to heal my heart when it is broken, and to wipe away my tears.
Most of all, I will be of good cheer! This is the season of remembering God’s gift of love to us ~ JESUS ~ and sharing that gift, and love, with others.
“Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’ ” ~ Luke 2:10-11
I wish you all a very merry Christmas, my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ!