My last post was not a happy one or really all that joyful was it?
When I wrote No Answers I was in a rough place.
This has been a trying year. A year of death, loss, trial after trial.
At one point we owned three cars and not one was dependable. It was like a comedy and we were the punch line.
Honestly with December came this feeling of hopelessness.
I felt desperate to feel some sort of soothing balm to my open wounds.
I have seen my sweet cousin lose her husband, Brian.
A young woman who was 25 die of cancer leaving three young children behind.
We lost a pillar of our church, a man well into his nineties. He was and is dearly loved.
A little child burned
Children taken from their mother
My sweet husband has lost two aunts and an uncle this year....
My sister was in a car accident and if not for the wonder of Doctors would have been permanently paralyzed...
We lost our Little Bit, and a few months earlier a cousin lost her baby
I know I am not alone in saying 2016 has been a rough year.
The final straw that broke me and made me feel defeated were the wild fires here in East Tennessee.
This is my home. There was so much loss, death, and devastation. I cried for two days. We have so many memories in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. I felt there was devastation all around me.
There for a minute (more like a few weeks) , the enemy had me. He had me believing there was no use, he had me doubting everything I stand for, he had me wondering what is the point?, that I was never going to feel happy again...
I think the most awful feeling is being disconnected with God.
Doubting him. and not just a thought here or there but it started to take root.
I was standing in Sunday services and crying because I just needed God's help. I wanted to have these weights off my shoulders and legs.
I had a baby boy watching me and a husband who needs me. I could not abandon the one thing that has always sustained me...
Then something happened.
Our church put on a Christmas play, and it was actually written as a joint effort. Everyone collaborated and added their own take on the character they were playing.
I wrote two scenes toward the end of the play.
I wanted to write something that would be meaningful since I was playing the Christian trying to encourage others during a tragedy. The scene I wrote involved a the principle who was an atheist because of her being sexually assaulted as a young girl... she wondered where God was... this is a snippet of that scene...
DEVILLE: Then you explain to me where God was when I was just a young girl? When I was
brutally attacked? Where was He then? I’ll tell you, He was nowhere and my innocence was stolen. I
knew after that there was no loving God.
MRS. LAWSON: I am so sorry that happened to you. I cannot tell you that I understand God's ways.
His ways are not our own. But there is evil in this world and sometimes we come in contact with
darkest of it. But when I lost my baby...
DEVILLE: Your Baby?
MRS. LAWSON: Yes, my baby. I felt lost and hopeless. I questioned everything. But I was reminded
of Christ and his disciples. And all they suffered in the name of God. Not turning their backs when
they face persecution and death. Then I remembered all the other times I had seen God's hand in
DEVILLE: I heard the scripture that Janice quoted, has it been like that for you?
MRS. LAWSON: At first it wasn't but God restored my heart. And once I took the step toward healing, only then
the burden of grief and heartache was replaced with peace and joy again.
DEVILLE: I do want that, but I just don't know that I’m ready and quite honestly, I don't know if God
will even want to hear me.
MRS. LAWSON: He still loves you, he has never left. He is waiting for you and all you have to do is ask him
My dear friend played Deville, and I was Mrs. Lawson. Both of were telling real stories and real feelings... and we were both in tears. The moment this scene happened I felt something deep in my soul. When I made the proclamation of giving it to God and in return he gave me peace and joy again... I felt the weights leave.
It was a powerful moment for us both. And I know God ordained that moment... not only that moment but the whole play.
At the end of the play characters came to surrender their lives to Christ at the alter... which moved others in the audience to come as well. At the alter it hit me... I felt God healing me heart. I felt his presence around me. And he sent a friend to pray with me and I felt renewed again.
I felt HOPE. This scripture is one I've heard a million times, I have taught on it, I have qouted it. But as I felt God show me what to write he brought some things to my attention. One very big thing.. in verse 6 it says if you have doubt you are like wave tossed by the wind... I was feeling that way. The doubt and hopelessness I felt made me feel lost... a wave has no aim it is just moved by the wind. Here and there. No purpose.
That is how I felt...
But not anymore!
Did you know my grandfather was healed from cancer this year?
Did you know someone gave us a car this year?
And when that one did not work God opened a door for us to get a great SUV?
Did you know that my brother got engaged to a wonderful girl?
Did you know that my non verbal autistic nephew asked for me?!
Did you know that I watched my 8 year old niece pray for her dad?
Did you know that our very dear friends are going to foster to adopt?
Did you know that a little girl is safer now?
He has provided, healed, delivered, saved, rescued.... Yes we faced some tough stuff. But even in the darkness he is our light.
Does it still hurt? Yes. Will I still cry? Yes.
But oh my dear friends, I have never been more thankful than I am this Christmas!
We have a savior who offers us so much more than this world
Merry Christmas my readers!!! I Love you! I really do. I pray 2017 would be better and you would be closer to him who saves us.... in him is where our HOPE is and forever will be!
He is my answer to this life. He can be yours too.
All my love,