During the Christmas season there seems to be so many extra events and responsibilities to demand ones time and attention. Yet for many, grief, sadness and depression darkens the doorways to one's heart creating a debilitating existence. Mine took the form of alcohol and depression where I was barely managing those things that were required. Those extras simply never made it to the list of "things to do".
Yesterday while spending my evening filling out and addressing a mountainous stack of Christmas cards I pondered on years passed. My how things had changed.
Many years went by without even so much of a thought towards Christmas cards. Occasionally I would purchase a box or two with grand expectation of getting them in mail on time to arrive before the expiration date of December 25.
My receiving of cards dwindled as well. Those that took this part of the holidays seriously and kept me on their list to send a card were also those "never fail" friends. (Thank you for continuing to love me when all I wanted to do was hide).
A few years ago I bought a new address book. I began to fill it up with friends and family's addresses. This in itself was a huge step. Listing of people I loved and now cared enough about to keep track of their addresses might be a small thing to some. For someone dealing with depression or addiction finds this endeavor exhausting.
Now, not only did I write out my friends and families names inside the card, but thoughts of time spent with this person linger in my heart as I send wishes of merriment and joy to them this holiday season.
Some pages now contain names whose residence has permanently moved to a Heavenly address. A whispered prayer for family left behind, a thought of joy to that warrior having gone on to see the Father.
My heart is thankful for clarity of not only my mind but of my heart. I'm so thankful to be able to care about those I've been blessed to have in my world. I'm so thankful that God has healed my broken heart and given me love for my fellows. This didn't happen immediately but happened through the continued Love of Jesus.
To those still struggling to get it all done this season, don't beat yourself up. Be gentle with your heart as you journey down the road of restoration. Each season is a new season for growth. Lean into the Lord a little closer to feel His Love. He desires to see you whole and fully restored. We are all a work in progress.
"For I will restore health to you And heal you of your wounds,’ says the LORD"