Friday, December 13, 2013

The weary world rejoices

Yesterday, it occurred to me that a season of life is on the brink of closing and a new chapter is beginning to unfold.  I don't mean with kids- though that season is definitely changing before my eyes.  No, what I'm talking about is our life story.  The corners and edges of the next page are beginning to ruffle a bit in the breeze and I am anxiously and excitedly waiting for the page to turn already.  But you know something?  You can't rush God.

I remember the past three New Year's Eves in a row.  They were all struggles in the heart of my man and I.  We have been blessed beyond measure in life itself so bear with me as I put a label on that season that may not fit properly in the eyes of those on the outside looking in- we have called it a season of loss.  The details aren't important but I'm betting there's not a person alive that can't relate to the overwhelming feeling of a season that feels like that- be it job losses, relationship losses, income losses, health losses, even life losses.  We all experience loss in one way or another, and it's frustrating and tends to feel unending.

Each New Year's, for the past three years, Adrain and I have drawn shaky breaths at 12:01, gazed into each others eyes and braced ourselves for the coming year.  It was just that kind of season.  A gritting of the teeth, and clinging to half-prayers because that was about all we had in us to give. We are coming out the other side by one thing and one thing only- the grace of God that has caused a spring of thankfulness in our hearts because we know that He knows best no matter what.  His grace has softened the edges of could-be-bitterness into calm acceptance and prompted thankfulness where the human heart leaned toward frustration and anger.  Not that we don't ever feel that way of course.  We trust, because He IS.


Now as the New Year begins to rise on the horizon there is a stirring of hope, of the kind we haven't felt in nearly three years time.  God put a mission in our hearts several years ago, and though it has changed, reshaped itself, and His mighty finger has redirected that mission more times than I could possibly share, we once again see hope.  HOPE.

There is something about that word that make tears sting my eyelids.  I went through months, afraid to hope and I nearly choked on the word, even in my thoughts.  I felt unsure of His plan because it made no sense, and try as I might, I could not smooth the wrinkles out.  How could His best for me, hurt so much, and make so little sense? I doubted His word.  I doubted Him.  I doubted that He cared.  He wooed me back slowly and surely and that story is more of a book, rather than a simple post. 

Last night, sitting opposite the finest man I have ever known, I watched his strong fingers curve around the spoon that hovered over his soup.  My eyes met his amidst the sounds of one child spinning in the kitchen when he was supposed to be pouring a glass of milk (don't ask, I still can't always explain my son's needs) and the other was singing.  I asked him if he felt it too- this stirring of hope.  He, like me is almost afraid to breathe too deeply for fear that it may flutter away.  And we wait.  And we celebrate a thrill of hope that there is a plan much greater than ourselves and that our weary hearts have not escaped His notice.  We sit, securely in the palm of His very hand, our names carved on His heart, with a new and glorious morning on the horizon....

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees,
Oh, hear the angel voices
O night divine,
O night when Christ was born
O night divine,
O night, O night divine,

The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees,
Oh, hear the angel voices
O night divine,
O night when Christ was born
O night divine,
O night, O night divine,

O holy night



27 comments:

  1. Oh friend this is beautiful. After suffering through ten years of infertility and the treatments involved, I too have crossed the bridge and am hoping to see what God has planned for me. I actually printed the words to the song on our Christmas card this year... the thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices. He is here...so I still have hope:) Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that line. It speaks volumes into the place we reside.

      Delete
  2. Hope peeks out where we least expect it sometimes - what a blessing that you and he are able to catch those glimpses!

    Also, I love that you included those lyrics. I heard the song on the radio the other day, and the phrase, "fall on your knees" stood out so strongly. It reminds me to be humble and grateful even in the midst of my challenges.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do believe that is exactly where it all begins girl. Amen!

      Delete
  3. perhaps you have gone through your season for such a time as this. ...to testify that He is able. Someone once told me that God takes us through trials sometimes for others...to strengthen their faith. I always think about Job when they say that. I mean he experienced loss after loss.
    Many blessings and good wishes to you this holiday season!
    Your biggest most silent fan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I do too! He has been such an encouragement to me over the past little while. He endured so much yet trusted. Love that.

      Delete
  4. I need this hope. As I watch the end of the 5th year of my own season of loss, I feel sadness. I am embarrassed to admit that my flesh has taken over my heart and thoughts. Where joy, peace, contentment and hope used to live there is now jealousy, anger, disappointment and contempt. I want to find the hope and peace you have found during you own difficult season. I pray and pray that God would change my hurt (and of course my circumstances!) but Alas it has yet to happen. I know that He is good, and He has a plan but still I struggle. Please tell me practically how this walked out for you, how you were able to come to a good place mentally, emotionally, spiritually despite your circumstances. Thank you so much for sharing. (Hope you don't mind me asking you this here?)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First of all, my heart breaks for you, while at the same time very much GETTING it. And don't get me wrong, I still have my days and my moments of that same feeling but I have covered it in one specific prayer- more than any other. I prayed over and over again that God would keep my heart soft, and free of bitterness. Because of the specific losses Adrain and I were dealing with bitterness was literally crouching at my door. Someone very dear to me experienced some similar life twists and turns long ago and I watched as bitterness claimed so much of her softness over time. I was more desperate NOT to be that way and not to let that happen in the long run that I have prayed and prayed about it. I know that He hears our prayers. NOt only that but the practical turning of our minds to thankfulness rather than frustration and bitterness is something that I believe can move mountains. It changes our hearts and though many of my "thank you for_______" were spoken through gritted teeth it was the beginning of a softer heart. I know that we are instructed to be thankful in ALL things and one of the hardest things I have ever done is stand in my kitchen with tears of hurt and disbelief running down my face thanking God for saying NO to something I desired- or taking something away that I couldn't understand WHY it needed to be taken away. I have NOT "arrived" or any of that nonsense but those are the two practical tools that I've used and through that process I have seen Jesus chase after me and hold me close and I know He longs to do the same for you sweet girl. Hold fast to your faith even when you can't see more than a foot in front of your face. The God who brings the storm can see through it to the very heart of you.

      Delete
  5. Beautifully written <3 I love your heart and your story. It is one that so many of us relate to in so many different ways but one thing remains the same.....He IS faithful!!! I love that He sweetly woos us back to Him so that HE can shower us with more love, grace and hope!! Excited to see how your chapter infolds :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I just love this! It made me think of this verse I have written down: "He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food. Job 36:16 So happy for you!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh i love taht! There is that "JOB" once again. He always seems to be the source of encouragement in the storm...

      Delete
  7. Wow! Thanks for this! Have you ever read Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist? If not you totally should. You're totally right that we can all relate to that sense of loss and weariness. Thank you for bringing the words of this amazing song to life in my heart once again. How could I have become so numb to the lyrics, "A thrill of hope, a weary wold rejoices. For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!" Thanks for sharing your heart. You've contributed to my prayer to see Christmas in it's truest form this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No I haven't read it but I've had it recommended to me. I will put it on my list of books to check out in the new year and thank YOU for the sweet words and recommendation.

      Delete
  8. I read the comment above…you would LOVE Bittersweet. :) HIGHLY recommend.

    so thrilled that you guys know that you have HOPE going into this new year…can't wait to see what God writes in your story.
    it's gonna be goooooood!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, what a profound post! I have just finished reading "Advancing Through Adversity" by Charles Stanley and it is the BEST book I have ever read on the subject (outside of God's Word). We have to be able to thank HIM for what ever we are going through and to allow him to teach us through it. The thankfulness part is so, so hard but it works! Blessings to you as you "go forth" claiming His promises until it is His time."

    ReplyDelete
  10. when all we can do is fall on our knees. we always have two choices. to draw close or to move away. i love that He lets us choose and when we choose to move away...He doesn't.
    He waits..and waits
    and loves us and loves us. He knows the gangrene that needs to be cut out of each one of us and our circumstances...when we allow Him..begin to heal us in ways only He knows. i too...feel a renewed sense of hope for the coming year. praying you are a womb for God friend....love you

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautifully written, as always......calming for my soul...and brain...

    But have to comment on the third pic from the bottom...my to-turn-teen-tomorrow daughter is a bookworm extraordinaire and when I showed her that pic she got so excited (in her words , she 'fangirled') because someone on one of Mommy's blogs knows who Tris and Four are. And at this point in our mother-daughter relationship, I'll take any single moment of extra connection I can get!
    So thanks for that billiant pic, also! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. My heart understands your beautiful words. As the New Year approaches we believe it will be one of those years we need to hold tightly to the HOPE He gives. Things are changing with my dear, little almost-ninety-one mother and we don't know what God's plan for her will be. We do know there will be challenges we've not faced before - but we KNOW God will walk with us. Every step of the way. So, we are filled with JOY as we know He won't leave us, whatever comes our way. This season is bright and precious as we see His plan carefully laid out in Advent readings and know His love for us. Thank you for sharing from your heart.
    ~Adrienne~

    ReplyDelete
  13. I share your hope.
    Your words are beautiful.
    Surely He is here in this place,
    Deb@LakeGirlPaints

    ReplyDelete
  14. sweet friend
    we can relate. it's so easy sometimes to just be all smiley and "we have been so blessed" while tears are welling up because there still is the unknown ahead in a time when walking the tightrope between joy & fear is a daily challenge.
    i sat here and read this and thought...maybe she should write a book....

    merry christmas my friend, merry christmas

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thank you for the reminder of HOPE. Not having hope leads to despair. I remember my mom playing and singing this beautiful Christmas hymn. My heart is broken, but the cracks are filled with hope.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hope stirring...Is there anything better!? I know it's going to be wonderful because He is amazing. His plan for your family has to be.

    ReplyDelete
  17. So glad that hope is breaking through the clouds for you. I've had a hard year too, thanks for reminding me of the bigger picture and that Jesus never lets go. Be thankful for your good husband who loves the Lord. And what is it with kids spinning in the kitchen????? Here too!)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I could have written almost every single one of these words myself. It's funny how there really is life behind all the perfect pics we post, huh? lol Seriously....more than I can possibly relay in a comment....I feel your pain...and sometimes that glimmer of hope. ; )

    ReplyDelete

I am so thankful for you, for taking the time to comment. I read every single word with deep appreciation, and YOU bless my heart and make me smile, just by leaving a piece of your self here on my blog. Thank you.