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Name: Linda

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008
This Is Christmas


I sometimes think the words are no sooner spoken before the question comes, "Do you really believe that?" I have been thinking, writing and speaking about the way the peace and quiet joy of Christmas have filled my heart this year. I have had the time to quietly reflect, to read Advent devotionals, to listen to the glorious music.

Then came the "news":

- My Uncle had passed away. It was not unexpected, but he was my Dad's last remaining sibling. Five brothers and a sister all gone.

- My Aunt is losing her long battle with cancer. She is under hospice care, and three generations wait at her bedside.

I was still doing well until the final bit of news yesterday:

- Our son with M.S. was having i.v. steroid treatments again - another flare-up that blurred his vision and left him weak.

Then the tears flowed, and I felt the peace and joy begin to seep out of my heart as fear and sadness pushed their way in. Where had Christmas gone? I struggled yesterday fighting those doubts that fight for preemince over faith. I knelt by my bedside and prayed - the same prayers I've prayed for so long. Prayed with a sense of hopelessness for suffering to cease. Like a little child, I longed for Christmas to return to my heart.

This morning I felt a gentle breath whisper into my spirit - "This is Christmas too. This is why He came. He came to bring hope in the midst of dispair, joy in the face of suffering, peace when all around is chaos."

Yes. I opened my heart to the One who came and experienced everything I will ever have to face in this life. I felt that tiny spark of faith take hold. I remembered the words Jesus spoke at the very beginnng of His ministry:

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for He has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord's favor has come."

Luke 4:18-19

This is Christmas. He came to give us the gift of eternal life; to give us all that we would need to walk through this earthly life; to take up residence in the hearts of all who would invite Him in. Emmanuel - God with us. This is joy and peace.

Blessings,
 
  posted at 11:38 AM
  15 comments



15 Comments:
At 1:29 PM, Blogger Donnetta (momrn2) said...

Oh Linda, I'm so sorry but these thoughts are comforting and beautiful... and so true!

I am reminded that the passage in Luke was Jesus fulfilling the prophecy that had been given in Isaiah 61:1-3. He really does have a plan and purpose. We are just called to trust and believe that.

Sometimes easier said than done!...

HUGS friend!

 
At 2:52 PM, Blogger grammy said...

I can't even imagine how people go through those kind of things without Jesus. Sorry for the sad things happening right now...but so glad you have Jesus in your life. I have MS too, but I have experienced good health for a long time now. Pray your son will feel better soon.

 
At 5:59 PM, Blogger Diane@Diane's Place said...

Linda, I'm so sorry for your loss, and for the physical battles that your aunt and son are still fighting.

But....I am so glad that the Comforter made Himself real to you and restored the feeling of CHRISTmas in your heart.

May you have a joyous and happy CHRISTmas this year, no matter your circumstances.

Much love,

Diane

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

I will be praying for you and your family, Linda. Your love, trust and faith is so obvious in this post and that is a blessing indeed! Please know that you are loved and appreciated and PRAYED for!
((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))))))))

 
At 8:29 PM, Blogger Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

"This is Christmas too."

Yes, wise soul, yes.

Linda, a hug.
I'm sorry for the pain of so many things... a long hug.

And I squeeze your hand tight know: yes, this is why He came. For all this pain. This exactly why there is Christmas.

How I send so much love, dear Linda...
Ann

 
At 5:56 AM, Blogger Abbasgirl said...

So sorry Linda. Will lift y'all up in prayer.

Annette

 
At 1:02 PM, Blogger Sandi said...

I will be praying for all your family. Yes this is Christmas too.

 
At 11:32 PM, Blogger Tiffany Stuart said...

Profound hope in your time of suffering. I'm sorry for your loss and hardship in your family. I'm touched by your words of truth through this time, so thank you. May God comfort you this Christmas! May He be that perfect peace for you.

I love this verse, it's one of my favorites!!

Merry Christmas. Thank you for commenting on my devo on Laced with Grace about picking a word for 2009.

 
At 2:56 PM, Blogger Angela said...

Linda - my prayers are with you and yours.
Hangon to Isaiah 43; 1-6
blessings- Angela x

 
At 5:35 PM, Blogger Linds said...

This is Christmas, Linda, and I too will be joining in prayers for you and your family. I too, cling to the One who came to offer me hope, and eternal life.
This is indeed Christmas.

 
At 11:22 PM, Blogger Susanne said...

I'm sorry for your loss and the hard things you and your family are facing right now. Saying a prayer for you. Sometimes all we can do is hang on to Jesus as tight as we can while life swirls around us. Hugs to you.

 
At 3:15 PM, Blogger Amy said...

Gosh Linda, when it rains it pours doesn't it? or so the saying goes. Anyway I'm sorry you're going through this with your family right now. Been there too...all i can say is that personally for me God was my eternal rock, I clung to Him for answers, for hope and for guidance. Praying for you all here.

 
At 7:38 PM, Blogger Andrea said...

Oh Linda... I pray that you'll feel God's presence with you. It IS joy and peace to know God's gift to us this season. Rest well my friend.

 
At 8:18 PM, Blogger Islandsparrow said...

I am so sorry to hear of your the troubles you are facing. The Lord is such a comfort in the midst of all our sadnesses.

My mom had MS. She died 17 years ago. I heard this news story about MS yesterday. You might want to read it as well.

http://www.mta.ca/news/index.php?id=1800

The doctor is from my home here in PEI. It sounds very promising.

Thanks for dropping by my blog - I am saying a prayer for you right now.

 
At 12:31 AM, Blogger Chappyswife said...

Ah, Linda, I am so sorry for your heart hurts and pains, but this is classically you. Even in the midst of your trials, you find a way to be inspiring to me.

God bless you and your dear family, I pray, and hope that you all have a beautiful Christmas.

 

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