I love this time of year. Beautiful colors, bright and happy music, and holidays galore to celebrate with friends and family. Giving gifts, cards, and the food is something I love to do throughout the year, but people don’t think it’s quite as weird to randomly give food and small presents around the holidays, so I can do it more often.
The holidays have not been kind to me in the past though. There are scars on my heart from holidays that did not go as I hoped and some that still haunt my nightmares. Physical and emotional wounds that would love to strangle the joy I get from serving during this time of year; for the past week I have wrestled with them and there have been times that the depression they invite in has won.
The kids and I have eaten fast food way more than normal and if math and language arts have been done I am pretty lax on the rest of the book work. My mood has been mercurial more often and taking care of myself physically and spiritually has been low on the priority list. Sleep, quiet, and brooding take the place of serving, laughing, and joy along with an overwhelming desire to quit everything I am a part of because I am just not good enough.
Then I don’t. The truth of the statement is enough to revive
my world-weary soul.
I am not good enough.
…there is no one righteous, not even one.
These words, playing in my head and wreaking havoc on my heart, are so precious and freeing. I will never be good enough, and moreover, none are good enough! This is not something I can do on my own, not a pull myself up by my bootstraps with a good pep talk and some positive thinking deal- the reality is there is nothing good in me on my own and nothing in my past has changed that.
And I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
I am not good enough, but He is. Christ in me is enough. There is nothing good about me but there is everything good in Christ, and He allowed me to die to myself by His grace that I might be raised with Him to new life. This new life means that those scars, while still painful, are no longer the controlling factor for my life, because I am not that person anymore and I never have to be again.
While still in the flesh there is still a struggle, and there are still times that I allow the memories of the past to control my present. This is wrong, and I know it, but the reality is it happens. As a Christian though, this is no longer my normal because now I have a choice. I can choose to shut those things away and by the power of Christ in me I can choose to make the God honoring action instead of the emotion filled one.
I don’t have to quit serving. I don’t have to quit giving gifts.
I don’t have to let the scars from holidays past break me down to inaction, because He is enough.
During this time of year, when it would be especially easy for me to curl up and hide away, I am so grateful for a God of mercy Who gives grace. His power at work in my life allows me to offer love to others even when I do not feel it. That same power offers grace to my own wounded heart on the days I do not get right back up and stops me from living in fear of my own inaduquacy.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His faithful love toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgression from us.
I do not know where you are in this right now. Maybe the holidays hold only your happiest memories and it is the rest of the year that feels dark. Maybe you’re right there with me, holding tight to hope when you feel like you might drown. Wherever you are right now, I pray you will not allow the truth that we are not enough to have that weight over you anymore. I pray that you would rejoice that God does not call us to be enough, but to rest in the truth that Jesus is enough. Only Christ’s work in your heart can make you holy, and that means that it is only Him you need to hold on to.
Verses I will be holding onto this holiday season:
I'm Rebecca, a Christian, wife, and mother of three. I lived wrong for a long time, got pretty well slapped with the reality of how sanctifying marriage and motherhood are, and now I am hoping to help others to hold on to Jesus in all the hard parts of life.