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My Christmas Story

The lowly in spirit. The crushed spirits. If we look around in the crowds we will see them. On the fringes. Hugging the corners. Working very hard to convince themselves that they are indeed invisible. Christmas is so hard. For so many. For so many reasons. For years now it has brought unimaginable sadness to my brokenness. Yet, in that brokenness, when eventually I felt as though every piece of me had broken, it was then, through the shame, humiliation and curling up under the covers – my tears my only company- that I began to realize something else was happening too. A few years into this, I realized I was not pulling out the Christmas music to play but was pulling out the recording that was replaying the hurtful words and experiences over and over again every year, hearing the words that turned me down this detoured, deserted path. Then, I realized I had a choice. Through many more years focusing on how to choose my destiny – not denying that my history would forever be a part of me – I wondered how could I carry that forward into healing? Would I be brave and bold enough to enter into this conversation with myself? Or – would I become stuck on the cycle of repeat as Christmas approached every year?

I could leave you right here with this question and end sharing my thoughts with you. You could add my name to your list of people to think about when you read about the sad and lonely at Christmas.

BUT . . . I’ve come to realize there are many people who quit participating in writing their story and let their history dictate how their destiny unfolds. Every day, just like I used to do, they drag their history into the present playing on repeat, never seeking to change their quest because they are tired. Worn out from the drudgery and exhaustion of pushing play, repeat and play again on the wounds in their lives. I know. I know this is true because I got stuck in the same cycle.

I remember the exact moment almost ten years ago. I remember where I was standing and what I was doing. I don’t remember the exact incident that led me to cry out to God – in anger, fear, frustration, hopelessness and helplessness. But I remember exactly what I said to Him. 

Lifting my arms to the sky, I cried out, sobbing “God, I have no idea what is happening in my life. I am watching as it is crumbling all around me and I can’t stop it. I don’t know what to do. I just know it’s really bad. Please God, don’t let it be wasted. Don’t let it be for nothing. I can’t handle the thought of all this being for nothing – a waste. Please God, use me – use this – to Your glory. Don’t leave me Lord”.

Apparently, somewhere in a Sunday school class as a child or in a bible study along the way, the thought of trusting God pushed to the front of my pain and a tiny sprout of life began to germinate. It would grow very slowly and there would be times when I pushed it away – trying to keep the thought of trusting even God in the midst of what lay ahead – among the broken trusts and betrayals – I would yet in the future, retreat from even God. There was more than once I even gave into the pressure of the world and denied His power in my life. It was easier to feel sorry for myself and look around me for comfort and support, rejecting God’s answer to my prayer that day. It was easier to eat and shop and at times even travel to attempt to escape myself and all the pain I carried. If I ran life at full speed, maybe the pain wouldn’t be able to catch up.

But, today, I can write a new story. One filled with a hope that could never have been written had it not been for the experiences of the past ten years. It is this story I want you to remember. I want you to look at your life and the hurts and the pain you carry with you. There is a solution to the weariness that follows you even out of bed in the morning. The weariness that fills those lonely hours in the middle of the night. No amount of sleep or worldly comforts can ease the fatigue. 

So because I chose to bring God into my inner circle, the harbor of my inner most soul, where the music begins, my dread of the approaching Christmas finally fades and is being replaced with a hope for the season. {This is actually the first year I have put up a Christmas tree!} Hope for a celebration of the birth of our Christ. I celebrate the destiny that lies ahead because I know that God will be holding me, walking with me and showing me His presence in my life over and over again. He leaves me constantly amazed, constantly in awe and living in experiences that both affirm and confirm His love for me. A new song springs forth from my heart.

Psalm 40:3

He gave me a new song to sing. 

It is a hymn of praise to our God. 

Many people will see what he has done and will worship him. 

They will put their trust in the Lord.  (NIrV)

This is why I write. This is why I share my testimony, my journey and my pain and struggles. I share to bring you to the turning point in my walk. The moment I turned to God and asked Him to take the broken remnants of who I once was, the pieces of me written by my history and turn them into a restored woman who can write of His love on a level never before possible, looking forward to the destiny He has prepared for me. Because I have learned that His promises – every single one of them – are trustworthy. 

I have never been more at peace. I look forward – expectantly – knowing God is writing my destiny to fulfill my cry to Him that day standing on the mountain side – “God, please use this to Your glory”. 

Yes, to God be the glory as we trust that He will use our history and give us the confidence to look forward expectantly to face the destiny He has prepared for each of us. 

Merry Christmas everyone!

Janet

4 Responses to “My Christmas Story”

  1. Troi says:

    Lovely, your such a gifted personal writer. It makes me happy to know your feeling joyful. I can imagine how beautiful your tree must be.
    Merry Christmas,
    Love Troi

    • Janet Reeger says:

      Oh Troi – I know – right – it sure has been a journey. Thank you for your support and encouragement along the way. It’s because of my friends that I have had the courage to stay on the quest for healing. Merry Christmas to you – hoping to see you soon! love – Janet

  2. Lindy Munoz says:

    Merry Christmas, Janet. Thank you for sharing your story. It truly does bring glory to our Lord. May 2018 bring the continued blessings of healing at the hand of our Savior! Love you, Lindy Munoz

    • Janet Reeger says:

      Oh Goodness Lindy – it is so sweet to hear from you. Yes healing in His hands certainly reflects His love of us and all to His glory. I, too, look forward to this coming year. Sending love and hugs to you and your family – Janet

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