I found this article by Shawna Wingert late last night while I was feeling sorry for myself. I knew it was good then, but after having some sweet sister time with dear friends in Christ, I realized how much I needed to read this. I needed to hear that I am not alone.
This article nourished my tired, dry soul. It humbled me, it encouraged me, and it redirected my view. This season is hard! But it is a season. One that we can count the days until it is over or we can somehow savor. We can go back to normal every day life and think, "Whew! Thank goodness that is over!", or one where we lift our face to our Heavenly Father and get honest with Him.
Let's first get honest with ourselves and say "this hurts!" Then we can turn to the Lord and confess, "But I know you are here and you see me. Not only do you see me, but I am choosing to change my view. Instead of looking down and around at my own circumstances, I choose to look up to You and face forward to next Fridayand the coming of my Savior. I choose to receive your joy, your peace."
Joy may seem different than it used to, but it is still joy. Joy in my boys' laughter, joy in making cookies, joy in reading bedtime stories, joy in You and who You are, Lord! We can find gratefulness and joy in the fact that He loves us so much that He not only sent his Son, but He gave us his Holy Spirit so that we are not alone. Remind yourself by telling him, "You are here. You see me, and You're not done with my story yet." In this, there is great joy to be discovered.
Liesel reminded me of that today. He isn't done writing my story, and He's not done writing yours, sweet sisters. This is a chapter of life and at some point this chapter will close and a new one will open.
That is what advent is about, waiting expectantly for God to show up and show off! By showing off, it's not extra effort- it's God being Who he is. Today I choose great joy in that!
I hope you find some peace and comfort in Shawna's words. I am including an excerpt and a link so that you can read the blog post in it's entirety. Print it out and put it up where you can see it daily.
Remind yourself that you are not alone and that He is so very near to the broken-hearted. I am praying for you fervently in this season! You are loved deeply and dearly!
Dear Single Mom,
I have been thinking of you since Thanksgiving.
As Christmas gets closer and closer, I have been praying for your heart.
This time of year is hard for you, I know. I was a single mom for almost five years. My sister was for seven. And my mother has been a single mom for almost the entirety of her four children's lives.
The holidays were by far the most difficult times for me, as a single mom...