The Great However

Friday, January 11, 2013

I sat down several times in the past few weeks to write this post but stopped before even a few words were written on the page. I just haven’t been in the mood. You see, I’ve been going through a challenging season. Thankfully, I’m feeling better now and can actually focus on what I want to share! I know we all have times that aren’t perfect. Each one of us will go through the highs and lows of life, and quite often it is in the difficult times that we grow the closest to God. But this particular season has really cut me to the core. That is probably because my heart-pain is not just over one event but over a series of difficult and painful experiences that have come at me with the relentlessness of an approaching freight train – you know, those really long ones carrying different cargo in each car with tons of graffiti on the side? 

Ok…Let me start at the beginning. I absolutely love Christmas. I love the reason we celebrate it. I love the anticipation and planning for the “big day”. I love the lights, the decorations, and the warmth of getting together with friends and family. I love the holiness of the season and God’s gift to us through Christ. But this year was a bit of a struggle. I can’t say that I’m surprised, as people warned me this could happen. But, I guess I never really thought that I’d be counting the days until my favorite time of year was over! 

As many of you know, my father went home to be with the Lord in July. That in itself was a terribly difficult time, but then, as his first birthday without him passed, and then the first Christmas, a shadow was cast upon what should have been the most joyful time of year. It was almost as if “someone” knew I was feeling weak and vulnerable and decided to send other challenges my way. I wasn’t the only one feeling the tension. Understandably, my mother was not handling things well, but we did our best to comfort her. Her needs became many over the past several weeks, and I exhausted myself trying to meet them. If I may continue with my pity party, my husband and I are also empty-nesters and this year, our “kids” were not able to be with us. To compound things, there came some personal challenges and disappointments and the erosion of plans we had made for the future. I know I have so much to be thankful for, but still, I’ve been pretty blue. When so many things happen at once, it is exhausting emotionally. 

However, and this is the GREAT HOWEVER, our God is greater than our trials! He is stronger than our struggles. He knows our hearts and every tear that falls from our eyes. He cares about us and He always has our best in mind! He has a plan far beyond any plan we have made on our own. 

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). 

All through the past month, I have been reminding myself of His love. I have been on my knees before Him asking for strength and direction, but also trusting His timing. And you know what? His faithfulness shone through! He was always there whenever I felt like I couldn’t go on. He held me when I was so scared and sad that the tears came flooding from my eyes. When I was going through the motions of celebration during the holidays, He reminded me that He was with me…and that He would always be with me! 

“And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 18:20). 

No matter what challenges swirl around us, no matter how difficult or dark the road, we can count on our God. And when we are so weak we cannot stand, He will carry us through. 

Trusting in Him,


Joan



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15 comments

  1. Joan - oh yes, I feel your pain. Thank you for being so honest and vulnerable. This was an unusual Christmas for me, too. Though I spent time with family over the holidays, this was the first time I wasn't with my sons on Christmas Day. It was very difficult. In fact, the holidays this year made me terribly homesick, and very discontent in my new mountain location. And yes, personal challenges have visited, too.


    But, God has been faithful to me. He stands when I can't - He holds me when I can't hold myself up.


    And, just today I read that verse in Matthew in one of my devotionals. There is such comfort in His forever Presence.


    GOD BLESS!

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  2. Sharon -- it sounds like we are kindred spirits! The holidays were tough this year, but like you, I am so comforted that God is always with us! What a blessing it is to be loved by such a faithful God!


    Blessings, Joan

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  3. Oh Joan, I totally understand. I still feel as if we've been hit by a freight train with all we have dealt with over the last few years. God never leaves us! Would you consider linking this up with The Weekend Brew? I know it will encourage so many.

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  4. Hi Barbie! Thank you for your encouragement. Yes, it is such a comfort knowing that our God will never leave us! He helps us through all of our challenges, large or small! Thanks for the invitation to link up at The Weekend Brew! I'll pop over there right now! Blessings, Joan

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  5. Joan- I had a tough Christmas too, so I can so relate... what I love about this post, you are holding on until the blessing not letting go trusting on God. Our God is bigger than any Goliath put before us :)

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  6. Dear Joan
    Thank you for visiting my blog. I can relate to your heartache and pain for, 7 years ago my father passed away in August. I remember how hard the Christmas celebrations were without him. I am just so glad that you allow your Heavenly Father to hold you and carry you through all these trials. My heart goes out to you.
    Much love
    Mia

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  7. Hi Lisa! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, trusting God and keeping our focus on His blessings is the key! We can always count on Him!


    Blessings, Joan

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  8. Bless you, Joan. My heart hurts for all you've faced and the pain in your heart because of grief and disappointment. I'm praying you will continue to feel God's presence and love.

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  9. Great is His faithfulness--We had a rather hard (in some ways) Christmas season this year also so I am feeling some of your pain. Sure hope things are looking up.

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  10. Thank you, Pamela! The days are getting brighter -- God's light always encourages and strengthens!

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  11. I hope things are looking up for you, too! You are so right...God's faithfulness is great! We can count on Him to carry us through our trials! Blessings, Joan

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  12. I'm sorry to hear you're having a difficult season in life (and the loss of your father). It is true, as you said, these hard times can be the times we grow closest and feel God's presence the strongest.

    Thank you for sharing your journey. I'm sure God will use it to help others going through similar times. I know I can relate.


    I pray you will be flooded with His peace, love, and joy...beyond what we could even ask or think.

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  13. Dear Joan Thank you for visiting my blog. I can relate to your heartache and pain for, 7 years ago my father passed away in August. I remember how hard the Christmas celebrations were without him. I am just so glad that you allow your Heavenly Father to hold you and carry you through all these trials. My heart goes out to you. Much love Mia

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  14. Thank you for your prayers, Charlotte! I know that God will help me through this time. He has proved Himself over and over and I'm trusting Him!


    Blessings, Joan

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  15. I'm so sorry for your loss. It is always difficult to lose those we love... I am so thankful for our God. He is always faithful to comfort and carry us through.


    Blessings, Joan

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