Joy started seeping up in my heart again and rising out to the surface today.
It wasn’t the “mustering-up” joy or the “fake-it-til-you-make-it” joy. It was the real authentic joy of Jesus again. I’ve been striving for it for months and it hit me sweetly.
It has taken hard and internal work. Just me and Him, sitting in front of my fireplace every morning working and talking it out.
For the last few months, I’ve felt like a hole in the ground.
Life always looks beautiful on social media… it’s the highlight reel, it’s celebrating stuff and sharing good things with you. I have had several friends or just people looking in from the outside… saying “wow, your life is so together and your life seems so perfect.” I am only sharing the beautiful things. I am far from perfect, my life is far from being put-together. I am a follower of Jesus but I’m still learning how to follow and to become more like Jesus every single day.
No one sees that this past summer pulled the rug out from under my feet. That I’ve been scrambling for solid footing underneath me. I am working on forgiveness and releasing bitterness, I’ve been angry and hurt. I am climbing an uphill battle to get over it and to get over myself.
No one sees I’ve been struggling with crippling anxiety first thing in the morning and I have felt depression slipping over my head and pulling my heart down like lead weight.
These are things we don’t share out on social media for the world to see. These are the things we try to keep hidden to maintain our flawless surface image. We’re “saving face” but dying on the inside.
But you must know, although I experience all of these things… I am experiencing rescue. I am experiencing the healing and alive movement of Jesus. The song over me… “Emma, I am not through, My work will mature and become complete within you.” The seemingly sad time is turning out to be one of the most beautiful seasons of my life.
I’ve thought I’ve been the freest before now but what if I’ve never really been as Free as I could be… as He brings me through another valley to once again bring me to a new 360 mountain top view, I think more freedom is coming.
There are always new mountaintops for us; however, the dark valleys have to precede the hike upward but God is found covering and hovering over the valley just as He is the same on the big beautiful mountain view.
I read this by Mother Teresa, “don’t pass by the Cross, it’s a place of Grace.”
The hope in my heart for Christmas and for advent, “don’t pass by the manger, Hope lies there.”
May Christmas not pass you by. Let us not lose the hope of this season and of the great rescue operation beginning. May Hope rise because the place of Grace is made possible by this child who would grow up to die on the Cross.
God could’ve sent Jesus all fully grown but instead He sent a child in a humble manger. 30 years later, His ministry and rescue would begin. Let us have hope in the waiting, even the child-to-30-years type of waiting.
Let us not be desensitized about this great Love as God came in the flesh to understand. He moved in the neighborhood know His people.
He’s still moving in to set us more and more free today!