Tuesday, December 20, 2016

My CHRISTmas gift

Revelation 12:11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death
Testify : to bear witness; give or afford evidence.

With Christmas rapidly approaching my anxiety and general weirdness have been off the charts. My brain is scattered more than normal and I am forced to just sit down and stop. I can't express how draining it is to just try and act "normal", especially when you are in 24/7 jittery, anxious, missing something and someone mode.
One example of what happens when the "normal" facade is failing is as follows. Yesterday I was out shopping and I had a major case of fight or flight and had to get the heck out of that store. Nothing particular happened that I know of, but I had to go sit in the car for like 30 min (with some chocolate) to get up enough strength to go back in. I had gifts that needed to be bought, I had to go back in for my family. This. Is. Exhausting. I think as the person suffering through it, we are the last to realize sometimes why we are so fatigued and frustrated. It takes a intentional slow down. I want to share some things that may seem odd, but I can't ignore them and I know by reading Rev 12:11 (and many many other signals that include various songs and daily devotionals pressing my heart to continue sharing my testimony) that I am called to share what the Lord does for me. I want others to feel what I feel and I believe He wants me to share so that others may SEE what I SEE.  In all the anxiety and rushing around this time of year it's easy to get distracted and miss what the Lord may be whispering to our anxious and hurting hearts. I am guilty of knowing something is being said to me but not slowing down to listen, that is me missing a blessing. That is me missing out on his calming presence in an attempt to do it my way, by staying busy. When I am finally forced to slow down due to the overwhelming anxiety and just pray, I am always left in awe and I am always blessed. 
I gave an example of what happens in my life when I do things my way (emergency chocolate and prayer meeting in the Old Navy parking lot), here is an example of how it works when I'm being still and not rushing around, when I am in his word and just being present here and now. 

A few nights ago, I was drying my daughter's hair and just talking to her when I stepped on something in the bathroom floor. I leaned down to see what it was, it was a rubber bracelet in the shape of a cowboy hat. Understand that this was one of a million that belonged to Jackson, that was a "thing" for the little kids about 6-7 years ago, to wear all the rubber bracelets you can. I asked my daughter where it came from, she said she had never seen it.....in comes my 5 year old son, so I point to the bracelet and ask him where he got it. He says he has never seen it. I know it was Jackson's and I have not seen one of those bracelets in over 6 years. It could not have fallen from anything in my bathroom, if there are any of those bracelets in my house they would be put away, safe with the things in his trunk. There is no reasonable explanation, but there is Jesus. I don't know what or who He uses to send us these gifts , maybe an angel?  I have no idea, I only know that it was a sweet reminder that Jackson is not forgotten and our pain is not forgotten this season. A CHRISTmas gift.

I took a photo of that sweet little gift and I prayed that I would be able to slow down as to SEE more of the personal gifts our Lord sends, I also uploaded a photo of Jackson wearing the bracelets, look at his left arm!
The Lord cares, He knows our hurt!  We serve a living savior who has and does feel pain. He chose to be born into a broken and sinful world and in his time on Earth he felt grief, pain, loss, joy, betrayal and faith among countless other emotions.  How can we forget that He feel's our pain when he see's his children hurting? I hope my sweet reminder helps you to slow down and SEE that the Lord is good.

John 1:9-14  The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.  He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him,  who believed in his name,  he gave the right  to become  children of God, who were born,  not of blood  nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of  grace and  truth.