Friday, December 24, 2010

Steph's Christmas Sermon

It is 4:00 a.m. Bo just left to go hunting this Christmas Eve morning. I can't go back to sleep and all I can think about is how tired I will be today. I am working in the jewelry store with Nash today. That is very challenging!
Among these thoughts, I started thinking back on Christmas past. All kinds of emotions started playing back in my head. A few years ago, it was just me and Jon Harris getting ready for our Christmas festivities. Those had to have been the "Best-Worst Christmases."
My divorce was the hardest thing I have ever been through in my life! I would not wish the pain and grief on anyone.... BUT I would not take back the lessons I learned in the process. Through the process, God made me more obedient, wait patiently, and gave me compassion for the grieving and the lonely. Honestly, you never know what you will do until you are extremely lonely! I don't really mean in a physical sense but an emotional sense.... or maybe it is BOTH!
During my divorce, I felt so lost! I say "LOST" because there is no other word. I knew as a child of God he would never abandon me BUT it sure felt like he was taking a "Leave Of Absence." I was up and down... I didn't know if I was coming or going.... I didn't know who I was...Where I belonged...What I should be doing... I became something I never thought I would be...Lonely and desperate! "Desperate times calls for desperate measures." I turned to anything I could to feel a lonely void. It was not pretty! I did have Jon Harris ( my sunshine) but the times he was gone....I remember thinking that I would rather take a beating than to walk in a lonely house. I have a better understanding of why some people are alcoholics, drug addicts, homeless, etc.....They are lonely and hurting!
It took me a long time to start the healing process. I went through Divorce Recovery at Bellevue. I started seeing that there were other people that felt like me.... and it was okay to feel the things that I felt! I had to turn my focus on healing, becoming happy with the person God made me, and what God wanted in my life. I believe that God wanted me to be still- if you know me, that is nearly IMPOSSIBLE! (Psalm 46:10) That was so hard to do but even though I thought that God was taking a "Leave of Absence" from me- He was NOT AT ALL! As one of God's children, we are promised his presence even though we feel alone. He takes us through some trials quietly to make us aware of his grace.
Trials in silence will make you:
*More obedient (Psalm 119:67)
*Teach you to wait patiently (Psalm 27:14)
*Make your joy less dependent on circumstances (Habakkuk 3:16-19)
* Make you appreciate God more and his blessings (Job 42:7-17)
And last but not least-
*Increase your compassion for others (2 Corinthians 1:3 and 4)
We have to allow God to mold our perspective. It is so hard to not act out of emotion (especially being a women!) But we need to remember God's promises. We are NOT alone and lost as a child of God. We should allow him to feel our "Voids." And believe me, that is so much easier said than done because of our human nature. When I was still ,(Psalm 46:10) I learned who I was and God was able to mold my character for his glory ( and he still is. ) We don't have to do LIFE alone... we have God and we have each other! LIFE is not always rainbows and gumdrops. There are storms along the way. We need encourage and not discourage each other ( 1 Thessalonians 5:11.) Show compassion to others... a kind word, a smile, time to listen quietly without judging, a hug, etc. You never know who God is trying to mold! Jesus told us and showed us in the New Testiment how to love one another.
If you read aaaalllll of this, Have a Merry Christmas and go love on someone today!

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