"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Merry Christmas Grievers (HEAL - pt. 1)

This piece was originally posted on 12.18.12 - sbb

Pain:  physical suffering or distress, as due to injury, illness, etc. a distressing sensation in a particular part of the body: a back pain. mental or emotional suffering or torment: I am sorry my news causes you such pain.

"Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."
-Matthew 11:28-30  
Below is a letter that I received last year that was enlightening and admirable; heartfelt and appreciated. It inspired me to write a piece last year entitled; "What Are You Doing New Years Eve." I will re-post that piece on December 30th of this year. These same words, and an update sent a year later from the same person, has motivated me to put pen to pad and share my thoughts on healing. After Hurricane Sandy & the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy I think it is safe to say we all need to heal from something. The holidays often invite over some uncomfortable house guests. Bitterness, loneliness and grief are the names of just a few. Over the next few days I want to discuss healing and what healing looks like. I hope you join me in the discussion and look inwardly and evaluate where healing needs to take place in your life. Remember, you can't change, fix or heal what you don't acknowledge. But first lets revisit the painful words of a hurting soul I received one year ago this month. Letters like this are the very reason I write.

Merry Christmas Grievers 

I'm seriously putting myself out there for this note, being the "Debbie Downer" for the "Happ, Happiest Season of All", but I'd like to put a shout out for all of those who are struggling, wanting to close their eyes and run from all of this candy coated happiness. 

I'm not turning atheist or anything; I don't use the word "X-mas". 

I know this is the time of year that we, as born again believers in Jesus Christ, celebrate the season of our Savior's birth.  He has come to set the captives free, the light of the world that once lived (and still some do) in darkness will see the glorious light of our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Prince of Peace.  (Isaiah 9:2, Isaiah 42:7)  That alone is great cause for rejoicing. When I think of God sending his son to die for what I've done so that I could live forever in glorious celebration of the creator, I want to do more than a happy dance.

However, (this is the downer part) in my realm of living, people seem to hide the feelings of depression when it comes to the holidays.  They are forced to put on their happy faces and pretend that everything is okay with their world.  The people around them don't want to mention the pain to spoil the season.

Isaiah 7:14 

Cooler temperatures, shorter days, leaves are falling.  Halloween comes and goes, then the Christmas decorations come out.  Before you know it, Thanksgiving.  Blink and the Christmas season is here.  The season brings on a wave of memories.  I have personally seen a Hallmark, Lifetime Christmas.  I've heard people talk about the memories and traditions their family experience.  Old time ornaments from years gone by are hung on the tree. 

That's such a wonderful blessing to have as a reality.

But (insert the Christmas carol screech to a halt), this isn't reality for a lot of people.  Christmas brings on hurt, loss, and painful memories.  The holidays trigger them multiplied.  I know, I'm one of them.  Struggling through the holidays every year for a very long time, I go on a search for what I can find of Christmas that will balance out the riot going on in my head.  The loss of dreams, hopes, desires, what you thought would transpire in this season isn't exactly what you dreamed of for you.  

How do you get through the season?

Let me inform you at this point, I am not a scrooge. 

Acts 5:31 

I like Christmas carols, I rejoice at hearing of how families spend the holidays and put up the lights together.  Just this year, as part of my "make a new memory" campaign, my daughter who was once totally estranged from me, came over and helped me wrap presents and ate Thanksgiving dinner at my house.  Don't take for granted the things that happen in your life every day.  Some have no family at all. 

How would you get through the season with no family at all?  (Insert prayer)

For me, this is how I'm trying to change my attitude.  First, it is what it is.  I've got family who love me the way they know how.  I love those around me the way I know how.  I'm not experiencing my totally longed for dreams-yet.  But I'm making new ones.  Putting the past behind me, most of it in boxes so I can pull it out as a testimony of what the Lord has brought me through. 

I'm putting up new memories starting this year. 

Matthew 1:21  

Looking for things in my world to fill the void, the loneliness that comes with grieving. Like the time I experienced peace on earth goodwill to men at the Goodwill store when an Iraqi and an Iranian met and smiled.  New memories, being intentional on finding them and not letting the past ruin yet another year.  

Learn from me, if you spend time looking behind you, you will totally miss what's right in front of your nose. 

Look in the present and forgive the past.  

Heal your lost memories, make new ones.  Grieve, heal, gain strength from God our Father and trust He will give you new memories.  I know it's easier said than done because I'm going through it myself.

What I'm asking is this: Think of the ones who are grieving in any area of their lives during this holiday season.  Not everyone has the perfect holiday.  I have spoken to people who are not having a good time right now and I feel so sorry for them.  They're trapped in their emotions for fear of wrecking the spirit of the season. 

John 3:16  

Please pray for them, that the things that cause them pain be replaced with love.  That healing comes and they can experience peace and strength.  

For those who grieve from a death this year, I am so sorry for your loss.  I'm so sorry for the pain you must be experiencing.  For those who grieve a loss of memories and dreams of what you thought your life was going to be, I'm so sorry.  It may be a long road, but healing is there for you through Christ.  He makes all things new, heals painful scars of hurt, rebuilds new dreams, and if it is His will restores old ones. 

Try to look for things God puts in your life today, He wants you to smile. 

He wants you to have a hope and a future, not a longing for something that's in the past you can't redo.  That's what I'm trying to do, find healing.  And I will find it.  My prayer is that other grievers find it too.  

Merry Christmas grievers, you're not alone. (12.15.11)

sbb 18.12.12

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