Thursday, December 01, 2011

A Season of Wonder

Well, I have struggled all week about what to write. It just seems that this time of year is about the wonder of God and not a Bible Study. The season helps us remember what God has done for us and not what we have lost. So I made the decision to take the next few weeks and write about this season. This season seems to be a great time that we all reflect on what we have had, where we have been and where we are going. Some of us have great memories that have turned sad, some still have great memories and more to be made, and some have a mixed bag of blessings and heartache at this time of year.

This time of year brings all of those memories to me as well. I have a mixed bag of blessings and sadness. But through it all, above it all, I can see the blessings far outweigh the hurt, pain, struggles and strife. The joy and wonder of Christmas is the best blessing of all. Because the wonder of life, miracles, healing,  and love have been poured out to me by a God and Father that loves me more than I can ever understand or contain in just that one word,love. The wonder and honor of His love is greater than anything we can imagine. It seems that Christmas, like Easter, reflects and demonstrates His ultimate love for us.

When I hear the word wonder I always picture this little girl in her warm mittens, scarf, and hat bundled up and turning around and around as the snow is falling to the ground. I just see the twinkle in her eye and the smile on her face and the snow seems like love surrounding her. She has no idea where the snow really comes from and she doesn’t care. She doesn’t  care that it is cold because she is bundled and enjoying the moment. She is completely abandoned to her moment of wonder. I think it is the innocence and the pure joy of experiencing that wonder that shows me how God has provided for me.

My moment of wonder has been the start of the holiday season. My tree is up and decorated. The lights are going up in our yard and we are starting to continue some of our family traditions. I look around at all that is being accomplished and I am like that little girl with the twinkle in her eye, amazed at the “wonder” of the blessings of God. Hers was snow, but mine is the blessings and miracles God has provided in my life.

One blessing seems small but is huge for us. This year Olivia was able to help me decorate the Christmas tree. In the past few years her strength and endurance was just not enough to help. T his year we laughed as we spun the lights around the tree, we groaned as the ornaments would not go exactly where we wanted and we watched Christmas movies and giggled and talked through two evenings of decorating. I stopped myself several times to remind me to take a memory picture of this moment. This moment of pure joy and wonder of a Christmas, I was never even able to see coming.

We have a tradition of going to see different lights around our little city of Buford. We usually go out once an evening for about 30 minutes. These last few years Olivia has stayed home more than she could go to the point we stopped going. This year, we have been able to do it! We sing along to Christmas songs on the radio as we talk about each house that is decorated or not. We get ideas for our yard or for next year, we laugh and talk about the people that may live there. They must have kids; they are older and cannot do much etc. In fact, there are several places we go every year just to see what they have done this year. I always want to leave a card in their box to say how much we appreciate their effort, LOL. Not sure what they would make of that but hey, we do love it.

This may not seem like much to you but to me, it is a miracle and I am so thankful that God would allow me to have more time with my daughter. I am so thankful that God would allow me to marry a man that would endure so much heartache through this crisis (for eleven years and counting) and come out the other side a stronger, more caring, more loving man. That we would be able to withstand so much in our marriage and still be able to say “I love you” and not have walked away from something that became very precious. That the material things of this world have become so much less than the eternal things that matter. The wonder that God would know where we needed to walk each and every day to come to know Him on an even deeper and stronger level. The wonder of a God that knows each of us so personally and so honestly that we trust Him to know what is best for us can be so very hard and yet so very freeing. We have lost much and we have gained much.

As I have been thinking about this Advent season that is upon us, I remember. I remember many Christmas’s holding on to God’s hand, praying we would get through one more. I remember a God that would stand by me, call people to pray to hold my arms up one more time, and help us as we got through one more tough Christmas season.

I also remember that Jesus chose to be born here on earth so that He could save us from the death and destruction of this earth. Without His sacrifice I could not have walked into the throne room of God and lay on altar and ask Him to protect, love and care for my daughter, my marriage, my family as we all suffered. The ones I have lost along the way, I know they are in a far better place and have the love of an incredible Heavenly Father. Though I miss them terribly, I know their days are filled with joy. The wonder of heaven.

This Christmas for me is about the wonder of miracles. The miracle of healing that Olivia is experiencing right now. The many, many miracles that God has allowed us to see along the way. We would have never made it this far without God going before us and coming behind us. We would not have made it this far without the friends, prayer warriors, and family that have held us up and found a way when it seemed there was no way.

So this Christmas there are many wonders…many miracles…many blessings. One of the biggest blessings is you. That is the incredible “wonder” of God that knits hearts and lives together to help hold each other up as they struggle through their crisis so that they can experience the incredible love of God.

Blessings on this Advent Season. I will be remembering you in my prayers!

In His Grip

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