Holidays, here they come . . .
And I’ve already blown it. Big time. Boy, am I sorry.
In the Christmas month when we reflect on Mary’s humble surrender to God, I unleashed an emotional vortex.
Personal desolation freighted each word I spoke. In return, hard-hitting truths were spoken to me. Pain—both past and present—collided, blinding me to how my words were hurting the other person. I made it all about me.
Conversation became an eruption. And later, when I was alone, an implosion.
Thank God. (Wait. Did she really just say that?)
Yes. Severe mercy was at work.
Professor Randy Pausch, in The Last Lecture, describes chronically disappointing his boyhood football coach. One day, the coach lit into him. The coach’s assistant, trying to encourage young Pausch, said this:
Someone cared enough to tell me the hard truth. Such a person was once called a Dutch Uncle: one who speaks directly, even sternly to instruct, inspire, or admonish someone.
I was a wreck. Now God was offering me the chance for deep emotional healing through the words of the very person I’d wounded. Would I accept?
Even Mary, confronted with the angel Gabriel speaking for God, faced wrenching, unimaginable change. Probably trembling, she asked, “How will this be?”
The angel’s answer was cryptic.
Mary still said Yes.
A personal New Year
Yes, ache and frustration spewed that day. I discovered a place so raw only Love would care to, and dare to, lay it bare. Breathe on it. Ease it. Which felt awful, and right.
My meltdown bridged Thanksgiving and my birthday. For years I’ve followed Madeleine L’Engle’s custom of using her birthday (a date we share) to launch her personal New Year.
Today, having said my “Yes” to the healing process, having resolved to change, I’m heading toward 2017 with a new mindset, hoping blessings will follow.
Poet Adrienne Rich once said:
Holidays: from the depths to the heights
We know emotions spike during holidays. We miss those no longer with us. We try to delight those who are still here. We hope for peace in our world, peace in our families. Our churches. Our places of work.
And we both bless and blow it.
Despite our mistakes, new life keeps heading toward us. In my case, literally. We will soon welcome our fourth windfall grandchild. The due date? New Year’s Eve.
Such is the love of God that new life is always on its way. It’s heading for our doorsteps even now.
Will we make room for change in our lives?
Make room for Him?
How might these holidays usher in healing for you?