This Just For You comes at just the right time for those of us who, on purpose or by accident, spend the holidays in a bit of nostalgic reflection. There’s nothing like the holiday season to take us back to the days of our childhoods. The smells, sights, and sounds of the season stir long-ago memories, dreams, and longings. When we pay attention to the stirrings, they can lead us to some places we need to go. Places we need to go – but resist, or even refuse.
What if we take in the sentimentality of the season and let it lead us into deeper parts of our hearts this year? What if we allow those memories and longings to surface and ask God what we can learn from them? What if we commit to the journey of knowing ourselves better, therefore knowing God better? What if we begin the work of healing?
Healing work will help us see and name the unhealthy patterns in our lives. Paul noticed his own patterns: “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” Romans 7:15 ESV
Inner healing can help us get to the root of why we do the things we do.
- Why do I cram my calendar full?
- Why do I get defensive when___________? (fill in the blank)
- Why am I exhausted?
- Why can’t I lose the weight, stop the pills, quit the vaping…when I really want to?
- Why am I so angry, envious, or ashamed?
- Why do I feel so alone?
It’s not always easy to face the reality of our lives, but it’s necessary and it’s holy work. A great resource to help you begin the journey is a book I highlighted a couple of months ago called The Best of You by Dr. Alison Cook. She has a podcast by the same name. In the latest episode you’ll hear a real story of someone on their healing journey and why our healing is a gift to the world. The work we do today will improve our lives now and later. It will enrich the lives of those around us…today and in the days to come.
We’ll be tempted to delay any kind of change until the new year, but why not begin today? It’s a perfect season to start something new and while we’re waiting for the changes to come, because they are most often slow coming, we can use this free Advent devotional from the Rabbit Room. They’ve included a writing guide as well. The devotional and writing guide are designed to keep us aware of the presence of God in this season. We can move into our healing journeys knowing He is with us.
He is Emmanuel, God with us.
A Must Read
My final recommendation to you today is a book whose author is thoroughly raw and honest about the pain and joys of her life. I’ve backpacked with her and had the pleasure of sitting around a campfire listening to her tell stories. Some people have a knack for it and she’s one of them. The book is called The Secret I’ve Kept by Cynthia Skidmore. Look for it to be released soon.
If I were to choose the overarching theme of my life for the first sixty years, it would be “pretending.” I was false with others, but this falsehood sprang from my being false with my own self, the one I denied existed because she was weak and inadequate and afraid. Many admired my vulnerability and honesty and willingness to be exposed, and it is true that I was those things, but only to the degree that I was vulnerable and honest with my own self.Cynthia Skidmore in The Secrets I’ve Kept
Cynthia is proof that it is never too late to step into our healing journeys.
Let us begin them. Not for ourselves only, but for those we love and who love us and so that the light of Christ in us will shine brightly.