If you have not read last weeks entry, this week will not make much sense, so please read that first. (Go to the bottom and click on Previous Post.) The whole objective here is to paint a before and after picture. It is to give hope to those suffering from the pain of betrayal this Christmas believing they will forever be changed for the worst.
This is not the case when God heals the broken heart. This healing does not come from the spouse (though the spouse can help speed the process), it comes from God whether a marriage survives or not.
Yes, some things will never be the same, and there will always be a sense of loss for that which was and will never be again. The choice to stay pure and faithful throughout a marriage is a gift unequaled by all others. However, that being said...there is life beyond betrayal or God would not be the healer He says He is.
Psalm34:17 The righteous cry out,and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, AND saves such as have a contrite spirit.
(This meaning that God cares deeply for the wounded, but also loves and saves the sinner when their spirit is contrite.)
The following is this years Christmas letter sent to close friends and relatives. Compare it to the pain of last week's letter written in 2007 and glean one message. Healing is possible. Bitterness is a choice that hinders healing. Forgiveness is the answer.
Dear Family & Friends, Christmas 2013
It has been a year of mayhem. Busy does not sum up the whole…and yet Christmas greetings beckon and my creative, sentimental (or kinda mental) side, screams above the din and I sit myself down to write.
In short, we bought a small engine shop, (or should I say three shops) in Kelowna, Vernon, and West Kelowna. We sell chains saws, tractors, lawn mowers, blowers, trimmers, etc. Talk about a learning curve…I went from a doctor’s office to learning how many CC’s a motor has. When we bought the place, the stores were dirty and unkempt, not so much any more, we are getting lots of compliments from customers and sales are up. It has been quite the ride, with many days where we felt we bit off more than we can chew. Thankfully we have a Father in heaven that gives strength and wisdom to the naïve.
With a six-day work week, we have found much truth in the saying…we don’t own a business the business owns us! However, not all is negative, there is much potential and a challenge is good for the soul. David, though thoroughly exhausted, has new purpose… and as for me, I have a two-year exit strategy. Work hard; get this beast running smoothly and then back to my writing I go. That’s the dream anyway…but in the mean time, I have a motto to live by. “Do what you love. When you can’t, choose to love what you do.”
Josh and Ally are grown, and have been out on their own for a while now. I don’t feel at liberty to say as much as I used to, as it is now their story to tell. However, I can share the basics.
Ally is doing great in her marketing career, with a hefty raise this year, and a new boyfriend, she is happy. Josh is off to the oil patch…working up north, and focused. His goal is to work the 20 days on, and then have the time and money to work on his inventions on the 10 days off. I have not seen him this motivated and purpose driven for a long time. We are proud of them both.
To finish off my letter, I will choose a rather unconventional route. I feel like writing poetry today, and hope you don’t mind being my audience. I shall steal the first couple lines from Clement Clarke Moore
, to get the rhythm going and set the stage, but there is a very distinct purpose to the scribble of my pen. My mind takes me back…
T’was the night before Christmas when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
Me in my jammies, all tucked safe in bed,
“I’m ready for Christmas,” I confidently said.
The decorating and shopping were all done with care,
The turkey thawing in prep for the joyous affair,
The presents were wrapped, the day carefully planned
The guests all invited, including our large family clan.
I snuggled in, for a much needed rest
Preparing for Christmas had demanded my best.
A quick prayer to the Lord, my family to keep,
With a yawn and a nod, I was soon fast asleep.
When all of sudden, I awoke with a start,
My chest thumping loudly, a rapid beat to my heart.
I tossed and I turned, and rumpled the bed,
While thoughts of what I had to do the next day, danced in my head.
There in the silence, God’s Spirit broke through
I heard Him whisper, “I’m ready for Christmas, ARE YOU?”
I pondered that question, not to sure what to say,
What had I forgotten, with Christmas mere hours away?
When God sends a message, He is gentle and kind,
He opens the heart and gives sight to the blind.
Suddenly, with eyes that could finally see,
I was confronted with the Christmas I had created for ME.
Intentions were good, but there sat the empty box
I meant to fill for needy kids, with toys, books and socks.
Instead my children had gifts piled under the tree,
More than was needed, the excess clear to see.
The questions kept coming, confronted… I was asked,
Did you see the homeless man, when about your hurried tasks?
I knew in my heart, and could not deny,
One glance at the tattered man and I had rushed by.
What about the lonely lady, who lives down the street,
The one who looks so sad, every time you meet?
Did you give her the best Christmas gift of all,
Your time, your friendship, or even a call?
Look around dear child, it ‘s not about just your family and you,
There are so many hurting, so much you can do,
I slid out of bed, knowing just what I needed,
I fell to my knees, for a changed heart I pleaded.
What I learned that Christmas Eve, many years ago,
Has stayed vividly alive, within my soul,
I’m not ready for Christmas, I cannot take part,
Til I have the true spirit of Christmas alive in my heart.
Have a blessed Christmas. With Love, David and Blossom