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My heart trembles under the vice-like grip of change. A lot of change.

It’s beating is somewhat irregular as it seeks to work out the patterns of new rhythms.

Transition. Loss. Pain.

Growth. Salvation. Beauty.

Hurting. Grieving.

Rejoicing. Healing.

Redeeming.

Through weariness and pain I have cried out to God more fervently and with more conviction than ever before.

With every struggle comes the opportunity to draw ever closer into His presence. That in itself is a gift. A gift found when suffering rubs self raw and His glory soothes.

Even though at times I wish it would all go away, what I really need is to seek every gift He has for me in the journey.

This post is one of several written in the early years of healing post serving as foster parents. They include broken thinking, rambling thoughts, and a fight to survive as well as a desperate clinging to the hope only God can give. I pray God uses my story as an encouragement to those in the midst of the battle. You have God with you even now.

With the Christmas season in full swing I have longed for the treasured memories of the past to bring life into new ones.¬† I want things like they were. They can’t be and they won’t be. I know it is time to create afresh. It is time for new memories and a new way of things.

The plans of My Father are to trust Him in the way that things are now Рnot in the way they were, or even in what they may be. He knows what was in the past. He knows what is coming and He wants me, and you, to focus on Him here and now and let Him take care of the rest.

That’s part of redemption. Not staying where you are, and not even returning to where you were, but a bringing about to a new and better place, the place where we’re meant to be. In His presence.

He offers the opportunity for us to look pain in the eye, call it what it is and turn it over to Him.

He brings me to places of deeper love and greater satisfaction there – with Him. Not a return to the good places of old, but an ushering in to the greater and the sweeter new places. He wants it for you too.

He offers redemption through His son, this baby whose birth we celebrate. The baby who grew up knowing human hunger, pain, loneliness, rejection and suffering. He knows the pain you feel. He knew it too. This baby, who became a man, who was willing to experience it all, and sacrifice it all, without sin, this is our Savior. He did this for us.

Through a heart turned towards the Savior, we are brought from the places we are in, and the places we were into sweeter and better places where we dwell in the Father’s loving and holy presence.

When we choose to believe Jesus, trust Him, follow Him and reject that which is not of Him, we dwell in truth and love and we find peace with Him – Even when the storms rage in our hearts and all around us, His peace and His joy can not and will not disappear.

Part of my storms have been because of the change and some is because this year’s Christmas is not what I wished it would be and not what I had hoped for.¬† It is not like Christmas’s past. And it is not like I had planned.

I am reminded, Christmas is about CHRIST, first and foremost.

I know this, but, I need this reminder again and again.

When surrounded by lights, music, gatherings and busy stores, I need this reminder.

When things don’t turn out the way I wanted them to, I need this reminder.

When the money isn’t there, I need this reminder.

When so much seems lost and broken, I need this reminder.

When the beating in my heart becomes unsteady and shaky, I need this reminder.

In my storms, I call out to my master. The Father’s firm and loving hands surround my heart and hold it gently. They offer soothing comfort and steadfastness. As I rest in this place, and accept what He has to offer me, the beats become more steady. They become stronger, day by day.

Even if they falter frequently along the way.

I believe memories, wounds, emotions and even the plans of the enemy can be redeemed by my Father in heaven. He is our Redeemer.

Hope is found in the trials and circumstances of now as we fix our gaze on a glorious redeemer. 

Until¬†then, I see it in…

Redeeming Hope:¬†¬† Knowing and rejoicing in the hope of Christ and who He is over the fickleness of wishful thinking. Having hope in a glorious future vs. wishing things were “better” than they are here and now..

Redeeming Joy: Finding that the joy of the Lord is present even when we feel deep sadness. With hearts devoted to Him, we will eventually see that He has never left us. Though happiness doesn’t stay, true joy never leaves.
 

Redeeming Peace:¬† When we don’t seek to have our circumstances just changed because they are not what we think they should be and when we don’t seek to have things be “easy”, but rather rather trust in the Father’s care and kindness to provide and to meet us where we are. Peace is found in seeking Him.


Redeeming Love:¬† When we see that true love is not a feeling that comes and goes, waxes and wanes, based on how we act and whether or not we do what is “right”. True love shows us that despite all we do and have done that is wrong, we are treasured simply because He chooses to love us. ¬†We learn that he wants to redeem us. This love is embodied in His gift – the gift we celebrate at Christmas.¬†


Redeeming Christmas: Where once upon a time, people sought to focus on the birth of Christ on December 25th, and others sought to worship pagan gods, today the day of Christmas still has warring thoughts and claims of ownership.  Yet, Christ is the redeemer of all days and we can seek to honor Him regardless of the day.  Today, and all days, they belong to the Lord.  (Romans 14:5-6 & Psalm 24:1)

I see redemption at work in my life and in the lives of those around me in so many ways. His redemptive works are also in our attitudes, our circumstances and our behavior. May these be lifted to the Lord, no matter how numerous and weighty they are. May they be entrusted to him so that we can find ourselves in the greater places He has for us.

In this season, may our Hope, Joy, Peace and Love be redeemed. May our Christmas celebrations be redeemed for His glory. May our hearts be set on Him above all and seek the most amazing gifts He has for us; the ones that truly are the most rewarding.Even when things don’t go the way we want them to. Even when there is pain…

The greatest gift of Christmas truly is the gift of Christ.
With him is where my heart longs to stay.
This post is one of several written in the early years of healing post serving as foster parents. They include broken thinking, rambling thoughts, and a fight to survive as well as a desperate clinging to the hope only God can give. I pray God uses my story as an encouragement to those in the midst of the battle. You have God with you even now.

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