I'm not one to write from a place of melancholy, but after this second surgery, it's where I've been hanging out.
Please don't feel sorry for me. My head and my heart know it's just a season, and all I have to do is read the Psalms to know I'm in good company.
Sometimes we bring the blues on ourselves, and to be honest, I can entertain negative thoughts and lies in a proverbial woe-is-me party until I wander right into a pit of doom.
Sometimes we can hang onto hope while the circumstances of life push us in the pit's direction until a "last straw" shoves us over the edge.
Or maybe we've been walking on sunshine when a boulder drops out of nowhere and pancakes our faces into the dirt.
Whatever. It happens. Even, and especially, at Christmas.
Two years ago, I won a story writing contest at Joe Bunting's The Write Practice. The contest theme that month was Winter Solstice, so I wrote about Christmas. My story (a true story that was eventually published in an anthology a year later) was The Worst Christmas Ever.
One reader had this say about my worst Christmas story: It's such a beautiful story because it doesn't try to be beautiful, just to be real.
One of my sons called yesterday afternoon - concerned about me and my struggling with the blues facebook status a few days ago. It's not like me to be blue or to be so open about it in social media. I'm just trying to be real, and the truth is that it not only makes it possible for others to encourage and pray for me when they know my needs, but it motivates others to find the courage to be real as well.
I love the Body of Christ. When the feet hurt, our hands massage them. When the heart hurts, the mouth speaks words of truth and life. When we fall into a pit, the arms lift us up. Thank you, Jesus, for your Church.
So I'm battling the blues, but the shade's not as dark as it was a few days ago. And I ask God, what are you trying to show me in this season? God is good and He is faithful. I know that He will show me, and I know that it will be for my good.
Before going into the hospital, I scheduled Advent posts for the following week. I've been tempted to schedule all 25 days, but I realized a couple of days ago that God is using the simple act of preparing the next day's post with a photo and scripture to speak truth and life into my soul. It's a little thing, but it's a daily infusion of truth that opens a window to light.
Where are you this Christmas? Does it feel like the worst or the best Christmas ever? If it feels like the worst, I understand. My advice to both of us is to be real. Let's not hide our pain, but share it with those in the Body of Christ we trust to hold our hearts gently and to speak words of life into our souls.
My our lives be infused with Gospel truth that redeems and restores.
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.