When this time of year comes around I like to remind myself of all that the Lord has done for me in the past year. Around this time last year we decided to try for another baby and now not only are we celebrating Christmas with little S we have a 3 month old as well!
When I had my breakdown at the end of 2009 I had the worst Christmas of my life. I genuinely thought that things would never improve. If someone had said that I would be celebrating Christmas 7 years later with my husband and children, estranged family and wonderful friends I would not have believed it.
Christmas used to be for me a time of panic and pressure, a time when I was reminded of how lonely and isolated I was and how difficult my illness made it for my husband. He wanted so much for me to enjoy it and I felt like I just kept letting him down. I would go online and see my family enjoying Christmas and I would be bitter and angry that I was so unwell I struggled to even get out of bed.
Now I know Jesus Christmas is a time that I am reminded of my assurance of salvation in Christ. It’s a time where I feel incredibly grateful for all I have. I now feel excited when I think of my future instead of dread and fear.
I can do things, get out, go to parties. I can enjoy the company of those I love and go shopping for gifts on my own!
However that pales in comparison to how wonderful it is to be in the care of our almighty God, knowing He loves me and has forgiven me through His wonderful son and my saviour. So thanks be to God for this indescribable gift, the best, the first and the only gift that matters. This time next year most of us will have forgotten what gifts we received this Christmas but God’s gift to us is eternal and will never fade, break or rot. Have you accepted this awesome gift?
Christmas was, as it always is, a quiet one for us. I was again very spoiled with thoughtful gifts but this year I already felt so very blessed as I already had the best gift of all.
Christmas felt very different for me this year, I found I wasn’t as interested in the frivolities of it, I still enjoyed getting a tree and decorating it, I still liked buying and making gifts for those I love. It just wasn’t as important to me as the deep joy and peace I have now at knowing Jesus personally. I was actually pretty ill over Christmas this year and found myself anxious but, instead of it carrying on for months the feelings passed after a few days and I am enjoying having an extended break with hubby.
And now it is nearly 2014. We have never been bothered about celebrating New Year or making resolutions. I have in the past picked a word for the year and last year I attempted to start a photo a day project and get more organised but, well, life changes all the time, we never know what is going to happen so I am doing nothing like that. I am just going to try to take each moment as it comes and trust God that whatever happens He will bring me through.
I have no idea what 2014 is going to bring but I am sure it will bring new challenges, problems and illnesses because that’s life. When I look back at 2013 to a year that on face value was one of the hardest I have ever had I know it will be ok, because I was ok. I am ok. 🙂 In 2013 I had more doctors and hospital visits than I have ever had, my physical illness and my anxiety got so bad that I came close to giving up. But as the year went on I found myself facing more, doing more and I have made huge strides in finding the answers to my symptoms and letting things go. I know there is still more to come but God has bought me this far and I know He will not let me go. He shows me this everyday. With His help I have broken bad habits, forgiven those I never thought I could forgive, I see my family more and I worry less, I feel less stressed and have had some of the best nights sleep I have ever had 🙂
I don’t actually think New Year has to be significant if we don’t want it to be, everyday brings new possibilities and the chance to try again. Its just a date on the calendar. I don’t know whats going to happen this year, next month, next week or even in the next five minutes all I know is my Lord will never leave me nor forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5)
Thank you again to everyone who is sharing this journey with me, I pray you have a safe and blessed new year, however you celebrate.