If you are agonizingly lonely, or suffering for any measure of reasons, I know that the pain is amplified at Christmas when all should be merry and bright. Please read on…
All month long when I pondered what to share in this blog, every Christmas theme seemed done a thousand times over. No inspiration came. Then I received sad news and did not feel like writing at all.
However, God had a plan, and His timing is perfect. Now, mere days before Christmas I received a journal entry from my sister, and all was made clear. Trust me, this will encourage your suffering soul, but let me share the back story. (All with my brave sister's permission…of course.)
Earlier this month my baby sister, Viola, discovered a lump in her breast and all manner of testing began. The heart-wrenching diagnosis came down slamming into my heart like a sledgehammer so crushing and cruel. If I felt like this…, what did she feel like?
My sister was entering a season of suffering and there was nothing I could do to help but pray. Her diagnosis is severe. Words I did not understand a month ago and others I never wanted to hear, now ring in my head instead of pleasant sounds of sleigh bells and calming strains of Walking In A Winter Wonderland.
This is my dear sister's reality this Christmas as she awaits a PET scan with still so many unknowns. Certainly not a Christmas gift anyone would ask for. And her battle to fight. Her road to walk. Questions swirl like snowflakes in a blizzard. Where is God in all of this?
Then today my sister shared her journal entry with me. She said she felt so much better after her quiet time with God. I was blown away by this Spirit-filled message of hope. Where I had no words, I know this message given to my sister by her loving Savior will speak and encourage your heart. I thank her for being brave and authentic and agreeing to share this with you. May your hurting soul find the peace, the hope, the encouragement needed by this powerful message written from that deepest place of pain—the crucible of suffering.
By Viola Hickey
"The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not be in want." NIV (Provider of all that I need physically, emotionally, and financially).
"He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul." NIV (You are my place of peace...only you).
"He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." NIV (I can trust you completely, to direct my path in an upright way so that You are visible to others through me. You know where I need to be, when, and with whom—my treatment is just a small part of the larger picture of being available as your ambassador).
Even though I now walk through this valley where the shadows of death are so much more noticeable. I will choose to fear no evil for YOU ARE WITH ME! (Paraphrased)
"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies." NIV (I am able to dine in peace, even though the enemy is trying his best to distract and frighten me).
"You anoint my head with oil," (I am forever your welcomed guest, not a temporary quick visit). "My cup overflows." (This is where my joy, my courage, my strength will come from, only in your presence will I be able to do this)!
"Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life." NIV (Are you still good even in this Lord? I find my answer in Romans 8: 31-39).
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." NKJV
(May I always see your goodness and love even in this…even now as I walk this unfamiliar path where the physical outcome is so sketchy) and I will choose moment by moment to dwell in your house Oh Lord, forever. (Just dwell in your goodness, your strength, your safety even in the midst of fighting cancer.)
It is so comforting to imagine that not only am I not alone, but I am also a welcome guest in your home – forever. Whether I live a long time yet, or pass into eternal life, my home is with You!)
This is my sister's fight song...It will bring you such hope. It is called "Don't Lose Heart" by Stephen Curtis Chapman
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Guest - Westbrook Cindy
on Friday, 23 December 2022 06:12
Your message is so very encouraging! I’ll be praying for Violet. God bless you and your family!
on Saturday, 07 January 2023 12:55
I am so glad that this encouraged you. Thank you for your prayers for my sister. They are so appreciated.