For Those Who Ache

For Those Who Ache

I imagine you feel like damaged goods. Like what little was there to start with is now irrevocably tarnished. So much so that you're not worthy of love or any goodness in life. People have started treating you differently- like your pain and wounds are just too much... too ugly... to big for them to handle. Right?
The pain goes too deep to root out the cause, the treatment to heal too scary to consider seriously. The worry and anxiety of such a burden that you carry is overwhelming and yet you are unwilling to put it down or even share the load.

You run. You hide. You numb. Picking your poison to flee from the pain and ache of all that has gone wrong.

And by now you’re convinced none of it matters anymore. You’re beyond help. Beyond attention. Beyond redemption.

Dear one- you need to hear that you are loved, treasured, precious, and accepted by so so many people. Your life, your sins, your wounds, all are worthy of notice, love, and healing. You are worthy of redemption. You are worth it. Even minute of struggle, every moment of regret, every bad memory, every hurt whether visible or invisible- is known by your Father in heaven and He longs to heal you.

You need to stop running from the pain and listening to the lies. You need to know that you have plans and a purpose in this life and this season of tremendous hurting will be redeemed by your Savior. The crazy thing is that He has already done it... but you need to accept the gift.

No longer numb- take your pain and agony, worries and anxieties to God. He is trustworthy and a safe shelter.

I am reminded as I write of a lyric from Oh Holy Night.

'The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.'

Sister, dear sister- hear me clearly- your night need not go on forever. Today is a new day, another morning to start anew. Take time now to make some choices- you need to put down the drugs, the drinks, the anger, whatever you're numbing the pain with- they're doing you no good and not stopping any pain in the end. You know this. They are the easy way out... until they're not. Rather take a step towards your Father and onto a road of supernatural and TOTAL healing. Healing that is complete and eternal. Healing that cannot be mimicked by anything or anyone this world will ever offer you.

“When you sit enthroned under the shadow of Shaddai, you are hidden in the strength of God Most High. He’s the hope that holds me and the Stronghold to shelter me, the only God for me, and my great confidence. He will rescue you from every hidden trap of the enemy, and he will protect you from false accusation and any deadly curse. His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you. You can run under his covering of majesty and hide. His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm. You will never worry about an attack of demonic forces at night nor have to fear a spirit of darkness coming against you. Don’t fear a thing! Whether by night or by day, demonic danger will not trouble you, nor will the powers of evil launched against you. Even in a time of disaster, with thousands and thousands being killed, you will remain unscathed and unharmed. you will be a spectator as the wicked perish in judgment, for they will be paid back for what they have done! When we live our lives within the shadow of God Most High, our secret hiding place, we will always be shielded from harm. How then could evil prevail against us or disease infect us?
God sends angels with special orders to protect you wherever you go, defending you from all harm. If you walk into a trap, they’ll be there for you and keep you from stumbling. You’ll even walk unharmed among the fiercest powers of darkness, trampling every one of them beneath your feet! For here is what the Lord has spoken to me: “Because you have delighted in me as my great lover, I will greatly protect you. I will set you in a high place, safe and secure before my face. I will answer your cry for help every time you pray, and you will find and feel my presence even in your time of pressure and trouble. I will be your glorious hero and give you a feast. You will be satisfied with a full life and with all that I do for you. For you will enjoy the fullness of my salvation!””
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91 TPT

Find those God has placed in your life who know these dark paths well and who don't fear the monsters in the shadows. There are multitudes who have fought these fights and won glorious victories in Christ. Our testimonies should be a map of the roads we’ve walked. We will walk alongside you. You have many ready to fight with you. You are worth it!

The Day After Christmas

The gifts are opened. The food eaten. The house is a disaster. Some return to work, others are left with family (who linger too long or not long enough) before schedules demand a return home. Leftovers are scattered throughout the kitchen. Pesky remnants of wrapping paper stay hidden behind couches and the tree. All that glittered so brightly with the awe of the season yesterday, warm and full of sentiment and memory, seems just a bit tarnished this morning- too garish in the early light and somehow colder. We’re tired, usually a good exhaustion, but spent nonetheless; the yawning reality that the big day, Christmas, has come and gone once again saddens us. And with it the small heartache that reality has already started seeping back in to our lives. If only the feeling, that intangible wonderfulness of the season could last forever. Our hearts yearn to linger in the soft light of the manger for just a bit longer.

Silent night, Holy night. All is calm, all is bright ‘round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infant so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.

What a lovely scene.

But just as the day after every child’s birth must come- life continues. Mary awoke to the reality of having just brought a baby into the world. And now life started... or rather continued- with a <slight> new Addition. Life- with all the stress, schedules, messiness, and tomorrows pushes forward despite our best efforts to tarry in yesterdays. If only it could be Christmas forever. After all, no one sings carols about the day AFTER Christmas.

Mary had a new baby to feed, clothe, teach, basically keep alive and healthy- the responsibility of which I’m sure was not lost on her. The reality of her life the day after her Son’s birth must have looked downright terrifying and bleak. Suddenly the lowing of the livestock wasn’t as soothing as it had been the night before. The sweet smell of the fresh straw had been replaced by the iron-laced tinge of blood and animal dung. Last night’s warmth of the cozy cave chilled as the morning light seeped too early through the rafters and slats reminding the new parents that life, indeed, continued around them. The day after Christmas came too soon, too brightly, too loudly. Their sweet, silent night had come and gone. As many times it does for us all. Though we long to replicate those precious days, all too often the worry and stress of our days overshadow the silence of our nights.

And yet Mary and Joseph got to take their little CHRISTmas with them. They walked with their Christmas right out of that stable and carried Him with them for the rest of their lives.

So also can we. The warmth, the glow, the reason for the season as we like to say... IS the Christ child. And the most wonderful gift is not just that He was given to us but more so that we can take Him with us... always, anywhere, forever. The feeling we long for, the silent and holy nights we cherish, are ours to walk in, to rest in.

Knowing this reality, sleep in heavenly peace dear one. Amidst all the days after Christmas, take the Christ with you.

And sleep in heavenly peace.