Sometimes circumstances surrounding us belie celebration. A friend recently shared her heart with me and feelings surrounding the holiday season. Christmastime is marred with painful memories and loss. Her story reminded me very much of the year my father-in-law died. He entered a hospice home mid-December and passed away the day after Christmas. During that time, I was painfully aware of the circumstances surrounding us. I was also mindful of my thinking; while I had no control over what was happening, I realized I had a choice in moving forward.
1. I could try to bury the grief, turn it off and ignore it.
2. I could let it saturate every part of my life and dwell on every “what if” imaginable.
3. Or I could accept death as a part of living, facing the loss while still celebrating the life – giving myself room to mourn while at the same time maintaining a grateful awareness of God’s presence in the midst.
I chose the latter, refusing to allow grief and loss to prevent me from LIVING. Each day. Each breath. Each moment to the fullest. When facing difficult circumstances (the loss of a child, terminal illness, financial upheaval, a physical or mental disability, an accident, unemployment) LIVING is often done in the shadows – if even at all.
If you are here today reading this, no matter what circumstances or difficulties you might face – God has a plan for you. Purpose. You are not here by accident. You are not here TODAY by accident.
I realize it is very easy to lose sight of this fact in the shadows.
I share this with you because it is something God shared with me during a dark place in my life. He used others who had experienced pain and loss to minister to me. He made His love real at a time that I needed it most. And for that very reason, the darkest time in my life also became the brightest.
Worthy of celebration.
Which is exactly what I had in mind when I ordered this birthday cake for a friend in the midst of an unimaginable battle.
May every day, every breath, every moment be worthy of celebration.
This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24