The house is completely quiet tonight. The girls are with their Dad for a week and I’m alone and actually enjoying the peace a bit. What a difference a year makes. Last year was my first Christmas by myself and it was difficult to say the least. I cried a lot twelve months ago, longing for my past life and wishing things had never changed. I felt like I had been robbed…my life was stolen from me and I was bereft and lonely.
Circumstantially my life is pretty much the same as last year, I’m still a single mom spending part of the holidays alone, but it’s different – God has healed my broken places in ways that I could have only hoped for. I can’t really say exactly when the changes occurred, only that during times praying, reading, journaling and time being still or talking with friends, I began seeing myself the way that God sees me. For some time I had viewed myself as boring and average and somewhere along the way I started believing that I was somehow less than everyone around me. As God has peeled back layer upon layer of insecurity and lies, I have started seeing the beginning of a strong character. It was there all along, but I needed some help uncovering it.
I remember some time last year, one of my friends asked me what my dreams were for the future. I didn’t have an answer; I was still in survival mode at that point. Dreams? Dreams were for other women whose lives were more conventional than mine. I was 45 and starting over but with no dreams.
This past week I got to spend time with my family and I was able to have a couple of very good conversations. I was talking to my brother about some things I had hopes for – possible career goals that I’m considering and the dream of possibly writing a book. A year earlier I had cried as he held me because my children weren’t with me and I was completely at a loss as to how to survive the holidays, let alone the future. Now I’m seeing dreams beginning to form.
1 I will exalt you, O LORD,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 O LORD my God, I called to you for help
and you healed me.
3 O LORD, you brought me up from the grave [b] ;
you spared me from going down into the pit.
I can only attribute this change to God. He is healing me – sparing me from the pit and desiring to lift me up out of the depths of my life circumstance and view. So on this quiet night, I am grateful for a Father full of compassion and power that can redeem a life and a heart and fill them with dreams and hope.