Christmas 1983 – I was 14 years old. My pain began and my world crumbled – what world I had. It was never perfect and I don’t want to pretend it was. But it was better than what followed. And somehow through the whole mess of my parents’ divorce I just lost my hope for the holidays. Even though I was already a born again Christian and I knew that this holiday represented Jesus’ birth, I somehow lost my joy for the season and my excitement for all things good. That was 27 years ago. Over the years I’ve fought to regain that joy, but many times I’ve been defeated, until this past Christmas. I was finally able to overcome the pain that Christmas 1983 gifted to me, and I rediscovered the joy that is Christmas.
In this blog post I am sharing what I wrote in my journal over this past Christmas season. I’m sharing with you the scriptures and the thoughts that brought me through the pain, and sharing with you how God spoke to me. For me, this is a very difficult thing to share, but so necessary. We all suffer from pain in this world because this world is imperfect. Pain can destroy us, but we can overcome it.
When I journalled this, it was time for me to regain a little spark for what the holidays should be – joy, hope, wonder, celebration. My savior deserves a smile from me – a truly genuine smile as I reflect on what Christmas IS, and not how one imperfect earthly day changed my life so long ago.
Mark 4:21 – He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand?”
The Lord is my lamp and I should not hide him away, but I should put Him where the most people will see Him. He is still here, and my pain needs to be unmasked and washed away, so that only the joy of Christ’s birth remains in my heart during the Christmas season. I don’t want the dread of the holidays to take away from what I can do for Christ anymore. Jesus lives in me, and he should shine on my face every day. I pray that Jesus will always bring His special healing my way, and that he will love my family through me.
Matthews 6:22-23 – “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness.”
Pain comes wrapped in lots of different packages. Sometimes it’s in an innocent comment from a friend. Sometimes it’s in the thoughtless complaint of another. Sometimes it’s an intentional act that is self-serving to only one, but stinging and heartless to another. Whatever the package, whatever the delivery, pain still has the same effect on its victim – it sears a mark that lasts seemingly forever. Only God can truly erase that pain from a person’s heart.
1 John 3:3 – Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Wherever your pain comes from, know today that God can heal you. If you hope in Him and trust in Him, He is fully able to unmask your pain and rebuild your joy.