Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Courageous Strength

I was struggling last night to think of something to write
that would provide encouragement today.

I thought about the season we are in.
Christmas.  Holidays.
Whatever holiday you are celebrating in your lives,
you know that with holidays comes great joy.
But for many, it brings great sadness.
The recent loss of a loved one or friend.
The loss of a child.
The loss of a source of income.
The discovery of a serious illness.

I've been there.
Every year, I'm there.
This will be our 11th Christmas without our son, Jeffrey.
My second without my mother.

For many of us, this holiday season
highlights the brokenness of your life.

I came across this on Pinterest
and I just loved what it says:

Isn't that so true?
Personally, I can't see how someone can become strong
without having first been broken in some way.
It is through our brokenness that we build our strength.
It is through our weaknesses that we become strong.

Think about it for a moment.
Think back to a time {maybe you don't even have to think too far back}
when you experienced a season of brokenness in your life.
Perhaps you made it through or perhaps you're still struggling through it.

I am trying so hard lately to keep my focus on Christ
through the difficult and desperate times.
It has taken such an enormous amount of stress off of my shoulders
to know that God is shouldering those burdens for me.
That's not to say I life a stress-free happy-go-lucky existence.
But I am trying to focus on what's good in my life
and what the center of my life should be, which is Christ.

It is through my brokenness and my weaknesses
where I can look back and see the hand of God at work.
I have been tremendously blessed
by people who have been the hands and feet of Christ on earth
in our family's life.
Whether it was a meal, a prayer, a card, a hug, or financial support.
I found strength to carry on because I could see God.
I could see Him working in my life.

I am learning to wait patiently on answers to prayers
and in the meantime am encouraged by the prayers others are lifting up on our behalf.

In my brokenness I am finding strength
because others are pouring into my life offering encouragement.
My eyes have been opened up to the grace that God has given me,
the blessings he has bestowed on our family,
the mercies he extends to us.

We're in a life situation that has no foreseeable end.
A chronically ill, multiply-disabled child.
I am not seeking an end.  That isn't my point.
But for as long as this is part of our life,
there will be great stress, fear, sorrow, and uncertainty.
{as well as great joy!}
Since I know that this is a part of our life,
I must keep walking forward
along the path that God set out for me.

I walk into the unknown each and every day,
never knowing what the day will bring.
We all do that.

But I need to focus on this:
what might be considered our family's "brokenness" to some
is our "normal".
Through our courage to continue on this journey,
we find strength together as a family,
to navigate this broken territory together.
Each day, we build our strength.
And when one of us falls,
we know first and foremost that God is with us,
and we have each other to lean on.

We grow.
We strengthen our armor.
We become stronger individually
and together.

We should not fear in our brokenness.

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