After I got sober I used to dread Christmas. It seemed as though Christmas was a time for me to wallow in my guilt and shame from my sins of yesteryear. Actually, I was simply buying into one of the devil’s favorite ploys–that I wasn’t worthy of Christ and what He meant/means to my life.
For the past fifteen or so years, I’ve enjoyed Christmas a bit more although I still cringe at the way the world has commercialized this momentous occasion.
This year I am navigating through an entirely new set of thoughts and subsequent emotions as my Dad and Father-in-law are no longer with us.
This is the first time in 61 years that I will be without my dad on Christmas and the first time in 40 years I will be without my father-in-law.
A couple of days ago I was lamenting the fact that this Christmas would be different and my spirit was dipping to a low it had not been to since my early years of sobriety. The same shitty thoughts turned to feelings of guilt and shame were creeping in: “Why didn’t I do more?” “I could have been a better son/son-in-law.” “Why didn’t I see this coming?” “I’ve always been too busy to stop and smell the roses.”
Then God led me to a phrase in one of my devotionals–“Memory nourishes the heart and grief abates.”
Then I decided to turn my grief and all the crappy thoughts that go along with it over to God while holding tightly to the memories of Christmas past.
In fact, I’ve added this ritual to my morning devotion time with God.
To think that on this night over 2000 years ago God announced through His angels His coming in the form of His Son to the lowliest of the lowliest (shepherds) and that He was to be born to an unwed virgin mother, reminds me that we are never too low, unique, or otherwise for God to meet us right where we are and lift us out of our own unique stuff.
John 3:16, “For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He (even) gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. (AMPC)
My soul is forever grateful that you take the time to read my stuff, even when it seems a bit unhinged, unbalanced, and/or edgy.
May this day create memories that nourish your soul!