As is Christmas and New Year tradition, sending out cheesy Christmas cards is a must. Here is our family e-card, our faces layered against the Christmas tree lined with both hand-made and store-bought crafts and ornaments. Perhaps the Christmas tree symbolizes life suspended by the goodness of God’s light, recording his faithfulness in each captured memory. Or, not!! However, what caught my eye today is the ornament my daughter in-law (yes, I can’t believe it either) made this year, a Christmas wreath, and in the middle says: “Joy to the World”.
Indeed, it is the Christian paradox that amidst the backdrop of life's messiness, the birth of Christ is able to eclipse all suffering, hardship and pain with healing, peace and joy. Emmanuel, God with us!!
I was in the hospital emergency again over a week ago with mom covered head to toe with huge blisters all over her body unable now to communicate except for bellowing. There I held onto the knowledge that one day her torment will be over; she will be restored completely in heaven. Emmanuel, God with us!! He is our Future hope.
Grace shared her poem with the congregation last week about joy, amidst her own journey with great loss in losing her mom. Watching her share was a reminder of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Emmanuel, God with us. He is our present peace.
Meeting earlier this month with missionaries and counselors being trained in healing from trauma, it became clear we each suffered huge losses ranging from death , sickness, to betrayal. Emmanuel, isn't just a future hope, and present peace but also our precious proclamation to spread to others the message of hope that brings true healing and rest to our souls.
I love these stanzas that I picked from Grace's amazing poem:
Your life does not define you and neither does your pain
In the sorrow , what matters is not what you lost but what you gained. ....
I am a jar that has been put back together and through all the cracks his love shines even brighter.
I am a diamond and I am gold and through the immense pressure and heat, it's his light that I unfold.
There is a transformative nature when we trust God with our pain. He brings, comfort, healing and perspective for self and circumstance for us to live with great hope by faith in God's unshakeable character.
Thank you for praying for us. We know that your prayers have been heard and God has provided all these years for our family.