First day of winter. Shortest day ever and I have so much to do, blogging shouldn't be one of them, but I have had this on my heart for a while now, and interaction with a few close friends tell me I'm on the right track thinking that the next few days are filled with a couple of things that trigger something deep within us all.
It starts with the big picture, everyone excited to see each other, together. Family under one roof, for what may seem eternity. Struggling as you go through the motions because someone somewhere a million years ago decided for you that family was a great thing and buying gifts and eating together were expected, especially on this day. Christmas. A day when it seems the world stops and the focus on family takes center stage. A day when drinking is at it's all time high I'm sure. Used as a numb out, to kill those feelings like you don't exactly fit in. To kill that growing sense of failure, that trail of guilt, to deafen constant bickering between those you love. Have another drink, this day will be over faster. The day ends like all other times... you wanting nothing to do with those whom you call family. Thankful that there are 365 days at least until the expectation is on you again. Collapsing into bed you cry yourself to sleep... why is life with family so hard?
Patterns repeat themselves, generationally speak of course. You do what your mom did, or what your father didn't do. It's a lens in which you see the world. A chain reaction that you had no choice but to follow. Feelings of regret, guilt, behaviors, hang-ups, emotional garbage all passed from one generation to the next. Freely. Unintentionally.
Once you are blessed enough to know that you don't have to live like that. In that same chain.. you decide. You choose to live differently. A motivation from Above that requires an emotional distance from the chain you grew up in. Living differently requires courage. The link you have become doesn't quite fit. You have chosen to not believe the lie that life needs to be this way with family. You choose to be in a different family. A family that loves, accepts, and honors your steps. A family that cherishes your heart, and encourages you on your journey. A family that isn't the one you grew up in. This family is the Body. The hands and feet of the Savior. Jesus.
I personally can't change the days ahead for you, my sweet reader. I can only encourage you to look for the good in life. The candles on the table, the way your mom's cookie jar is always full, a brief word from your father that blesses you instead of curses your heart, the phone call from your son. It's the little things. The joyful admist the painful. Think about the Truth you know. The way God loves you and the way He shows you while your exchanging gifts, and sharing that meal. Then, when the holidays are over...
Do some hard work and plan to spend the next 365 days intimately connected with the Father who loves you, cares for you, and would never ever do anything to harm you in anyway. You just might.. if you look at the past images.. find that He was your covering all along. In fact, He covered your whole family...like frost on this first day of winter.
"Oh Lord my God, I have cried to you for help,
and you have healed me."