Days after Christmas and we feel this winding down, our lives have a feeling of moving in slow-motion, soothing repetitive habits, such as cooking, cleaning up, physical therapy (Cynthia), walking, sleeping, showering. Alongside are our disciplines of prayer, contemplation, praise, remembrances of God’s kindnesses, tender mercies felt and expressed towards one another, and those around us.
As in movements of music, these patterns rise and fall in tempo and intensity, bringing peace and rest and joy, which are the focus of this season to celebrate the gift of our Lord Jesus.
I look back, over my healing shoulder, and the distance travelled in 2011 is astounding. As one friend recently said, while holding up hands far apart from one another, indicating our long journey, Noel and I have come so far, especially looking at where we came from (meaning ragged, dangerous childhoods with both experiencing too much bad that shouldn’t have happened, and nothing of love that should have been).
In the flickering light of the comforting fire, Noel’s and my eyes met and tears welled, seeing that our minds were tumbling with triggered memories of our individual stories of trauma. Our tender gaze held as we moved into thankfulness to our Lord for such depths of restoration that has moved us to share as God arranges, willing to walk through whatever our path encounters that one heart might be opened to the fullness of His Majesty.
The fruit of God’s love and empowerment in 2011 was full on. What a great pleasure and honor to have been a part of many “suddenlies” in Christ, that changed the hearts and lives of His beloved.
In 2011 our paths wound through nearly every level of life that one can encounter. Most joyful: witnessing the Light of Heaven go on in many eyes, restoring hope in people who had been stuck in hopelessness; excitement when some of those eyes grew in wonder and awareness of God’s personal and great love for them; encouragement in experiencing a person’s choice to embrace a personal relationship with Jesus and continue in the discipline necessary to receive what the Lord has for them; satisfaction when a person’s life bears the Fruit of the Spirit when gaining ground in their original identity, purposing to live in Christ.
The depth of our joy for those who come to know Jesus, is truly living water to us.
The challenges included: Standing firm in the love of Christ even when loved ones appear to be completely blind to the moves of God, continuing in destruction of themselves and those around them; Accepting God’s intervention to correct our path and help us let go and move in a new direction-requiring leaving people we love; living through severe injuries and the traumatic loss of capacity while clinging to our right identity, relying on the Lord for everything, at a new level of need with few earthly elders to guide us.
2011 finished with quiet solitude as Noel and I walked, prayed, praised, breathing deep of the renewing freshness of Kingdom atmosphere as we pressed close to the Lord. He is our friend, closer than a brother. For all we experienced we give thanks to our Lord. It remains true, “But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Luke 12:31 KJV