Finding Life in the Hardest of Places

 

Journal Entry: December 25th, 2013 

37 days and a wake from release… 

“I woke up at 7AM and made fudge to pass out. Also woke up with 5 Christmas cards under my door. One was from Caleb and Ethan. Caleb picked it out, a card of Mary and baby Jesus. His card last year was in Spanish. We had our secret gift exchange. Alice gave me a pink composition notebook and pink knitted socks.” 

37 days. That’s how close I was to something I had waited for 6 years to arrive, a small eternity at the time. 

One of the ways that I survived that experience was by learning to live in the actual day that I was in. 

If I had solely focused on February 7th, 2014, my heart could not have taken it. There’s a Proverb that says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” (Proverbs 13:12 NIV) 

Literally. When hope is so delayed in coming, it produces an unbearable grief of sorts. One that drains you of all energy or desire to wake in the morning. 

So while, yes, my heart dreamed of that day, my heart also had to find the strength to find life in the place that my feet were planted. I had to accept the fact that I would never wake up on Christmas morning at the age of 34 again. And even though I wasn’t with my babies and life was not anything like I pictured or hoped it would be, there was still so much richness to be found. 

Like fudge on Christmas morning and the gift of a handwritten card and friends and pink composition notebooks and knitted socks. And above all, the promise of scripture to restore all that had been devoured in my life. 

Yesterday, I spoke briefly at an event about Advent and the coming of Jesus, and how easy it can be in difficult seasons to stop looking for the “coming” of answers, or the coming of hope, restoration, healing, or whatever your need is. 

Here’s what is important to remember: the arrival of Jesus was the incarnation of God. “The Word became flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood.” John 1:14 (MSG) 

This Word, this Person, existed with God from the very beginning. When the world laid wild and waste, before galaxies were formed, before your first cry at birth, or before your worst day on the timeline of your life. 

Which means hope has always been part of the story. He was written into the narrative from the beginning, Jesus, which means, “He saves.” 

The One who is “coming” has always been. He IS, even in your present circumstances. Even when all seemingly evidence points to the contrary. 

Beloved, Jesus can help you find joy and abundant life in the places where the worst pain of your life also exists. This much I know is true. 

Look for that abundant life today. It’s there, I promise. May we have eyes and ears to receive it.

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