Monday, 23 December 2013

In search of joy: 2

It's taken me a while to get to a point where I could write this post.
Last year I wrote here http://karensandford.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/in-search-of-joy.html
about being in search of joy.
But this year was bound to be different.

The darkness of last year's Advent was no more.
It wasn't the first Christmas without our loved ones.
The boys are happy.
I'm enjoying my new church and ministry.
Chris is fulfilled in his new role.
Christmas joy would be all around,
right?

Well actually...

The truth is that it's been harder to find joy this December than last.
And I write not to gain your sympathy
But because I'm reminded how difficult this time of year is for so many.

The race to feel "Christmassy" is well and truly on.
What will help us in our quest for that Holy Grail?

Carols
Parties
Carol Services
Christmas plays
Cards
Presents
Winter Wonderland?

Well none of them worked for me.
And in my prayers last week I felt God say,
"Stop trying to create Christmas. Just let it happen."

And as I sobbed for two hours solid last Friday,
(Thank you to the lovely lady in Chichester Cathedral who supplied me with tissues)
I read this:

"You don't have to work for the coming of the Lord
- you don't have to work for Christmas.
The miracle is always that God is gracious.
You don't have to earn Christmas,
You don't have to perform Christmas,
You don't have to make Christmas.

You can rest in Christ.
You can wait with Christ.
You can breathe easy in Christ.
Open your heart to the miracle of grace.
He will prepare your heart for the coming of the Lord...

You always get your Christmas miracle.
You get God with you.
(Ann Voskamp)

And so that's it.
My Christmas thoughts.
I have Immanuel
God with me.

Incidentally the lights have really moved me this year.
And the impact of candles on deep darkness is not lost on me.
I am reminded that my healing is not yet complete.
It may not be, this side of heaven.
The darkness of depression often threatens.
But Jesus, light of the world, is God's gift to me.
He knows what I need.
I trust Him.

Wishing you all a very blessed Christmas.
May you know peace...
may you know love...
and maybe...
just maybe...
a little joy!

With much love
Karen



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