‘Tis the Season…I have to admit, Christmas has never been my favorite holiday. A childhood spent bouncing between two family as the result of divorced parents led to more chaos than celebration. Our focus wasn’t about the Reason for the season, but gifts and people to please. Don’t misunderstand, I have incredible parents in my dad and stepmom (mom) and had equally amazing grandparents. They spoiled us at the holidays, as they do their grandchildren. It wasn’t anyone’s fault our Christmases were spent running from place to place; it was simply our reality.
The year of 2015 has been one of the most difficult of my life. Beginning in 2012, events began to spin my life out of control. What happened challenged me as a wife, mother and daughter. I lived through things I thought would kill me. I had days I wanted to bury my head under the covers and just stay in bed…and I did. I struggled with anger, depression, feelings of betrayal and flat out fear. I felt unloved and unwanted. I judged what I couldn’t accept, finding what I thought was solace in my feelings. The people around me felt sorry for me too, and for members of my family who bore the brunt of certain offenses.
I poured a lot of anger out on my husband. I didn’t understand then I had made him my God, expecting him to do things he wasn’t able to. I was still spending time in prayer, except on those days I wanted to die, but subconsciously I directed my feelings toward my husband, Mike. And he took it just as long as he could. To say I was arrogant would be putting it mildly. Inside I was martyr, judge, victim, persecuted and alone. I imposed my own banishment from those around me and from the Kingdom of God.
As I mentioned earlier, this year was another OMG year. I sold my company in July, moved completely to MD (I had been splitting my time between IN and MD), leaving behind ten years of a job I loved and people I still miss daily. I was thrown from my galloping horse and lost a finger-tip when he bit my finger, thinking it was a carrot. I gave my two senior dogs back to God, Smooch (my horse) stepped on and broke my little toe. I’ve fallen down the stairs twice. I now walk with a cane (hoping this last statement is a temporary situation). I got caught driving in a blizzard, lost a friend and spiritual mentor to cancer, my daughter was hospitalized and most recently, my husband got orders to Korea. He leaves in January. We stay here.
Anyone following me on Facebook, and more recently on Instagram knows about my gratitude list. I started writing it 60 days before the day my husband leaves. Today is Day 10. Earlier this year, I found and followed a man named Clayton Jennings on Facebook, and got serious about my blog and the work I want to do. I began to see all the doors God left open for me, waiting patiently for this wayward daughter to come home. A few Saturdays ago I did at a Clayton Jennings revival. I accepted and gave my life back to Jesus. As my dear friend Chelsea loves to say, my life has been RESTORED. My heart is whole. The journey I’m on isn’t scary today, it’s exciting!
This Christmas, I don’t want material gifts. I’m spending time with a family I love, who loves me back. The gratitude list I mentioned earlier completely changed me inside. This year rather than looking inward or out, I’m looking up, in thanks and praise of a God who sent His Son to share a message of hope and forgiveness before being crucified for me. Grateful doesn’t begin to describe how I feel today. I’m a Daughter of the King, celebrating the birth of Jesus, who died to set me free.
I wish each and every one of you a very joyful Christmas!