Wednesday, December 8, 2010

tis the season to remember...

December is quite a month for me. It's the most... WONDERFUL time... of the YEAR! But, it's also sad. It's the anniversary of my dad's death. And it brings back memories. Memories of Jesus and his sacrifice, and memories of my most horrible days. I've learned that I can't control how those memories make me feel, but I can control how I react to them.

I was thinking about this today and I came across this old journal entry I wrote on this exact day in 2005, almost a year after his death. This was my first holiday season without him, and the first anniversary. Here's what I wrote:

"Lately a lot of people have been telling that they're thinking about me and praying for me this month because they know it'll be a hard month. There have been a lot of people, who have gone through similar things, warning me about how hard these next few weeks are going to be. Many have told me that it's ok to be mad and upset.

Maybe they're right. Maybe it is ok to be mad. But, I think there's more that I can do than just sit around think of all the reasons to be mad at God, to ask Him why, to get down on life and to just be in a constant state of bitterness. Sure, those times will come... that is inevitable. But, I owe so much more than that to God.

When I really think about this last year of my life, of course I acknowledge that it's been the hardest year of my life. I realize that it will probably be the hardest year I'll ever go through. I will always remember the heart ache, the confusion, the loss. But when I look at this year as a whole, on top of all of those things, I see God's amazing power. I see his strength, his love, his mercy, his grace. I see how much he's changed me, how much he's shown me, how much I've been able to grow in him because of everything.

I desperately wish I could not only tell, but show the world how great my God is. I wish everyone could know that he didn't just allow me to go through a tragedy, but that He held my hand and walked with me every single step of the way. He never let me go. He allowed me to take that time to grow and mature. He taught me so many things. He brought new people into my life who have blessed me more than they'll ever know. He allowed me to experience life in a way I never thought I could."

When I read that, I was almost in tears. I remember that. I remember writing that. And I remember what the Lord did for me. I remember how many miracles he performed in my heart that year. And the next year. And the next. And the next. And this year, I want to choose again to respond to these memories with praise, not with anger. As I remember the loss, I want to remember how He held me, carried me, restored me. As I remember the darkness, I want to remember the light He poured into my life through so many beautiful people. 

I know I am not the only one who experiences this kind of darkness at Christmastime. It is such a tough season for so many people. And there are many times when I have wished I could just not remember it. But I'm glad I can. Because my ability to remember my pain allows for my ability to remember His goodness. I want to encourage you this year to remember. Remember what the Lord has done for you. As you remember the pain of your life, remember how hard He has fought to keep your heart safe. Remember the love He has given you. Remember the grace. 

Remember Jesus.

They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer.
Psalm 78:35

Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles...
Psalm 105:5

remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.
Psalm 143:5

Do not be afraid, land of Judah; be glad and rejoice. Surely the LORD has done great things!
Joel 2:21


1 comment:

Heather said...

I love this Jordan. Love it. Oh, that we could all choose to remember Jesus and all that He has done for us like this more often. We would be so different. Act different. Think different. Speak different. BE different. I'm praying that I can be more like this...