You are not alone, not ever.
This post is written in honor of Rick and Kay Warren, whose Son went to heaven last year.
(Every once in a while the Redeemer speaks to those who are looking for More and sometimes just don’t see it coming … so here He goes … )I know you feel alone. You feel like no one understands the ripping of your heart when you rip open the Christmas cards and see everyone’s oh-so-happy-looking-families all posed, in tact, when yours is not. Yours is missing one, and it feels like the hole in your heart is as big as the whole world. You rip the card open. Not a word about yours being torn. You don’t realize it but you are shredding the envelope while you peer at the picture to see if it’s real. Your Christmas isn’t what you had dreamed it would be, at your age, in this year, at this time. It’s only a stabbing. I know what it’s like to lose a Son. It’s worse when no one acknowledges your grief, only signs the happy picture, all embossed. You toss it in the trash.
I’m so sorry the world is broken and so are you. I want you to know I can redeem it, I will, I promise. That is my promise to you, and I always keep my promises.This trial, this long and difficult trial — not the ones made of days or hours, but of years — it does this thing in you. It pushes you to persevere. To never give up hope that I am in this, and I’ve got you in the palm of my hand. I will hold you here and let you cry a thousand tears and never tell you it’s one too many. I will support you here, and as sure as the sun will rise, I will take care of you. I will never let you fall. I adore you, I love you, I wed you, I pick you to be my daughter, my son, my bride. And I take care of my bride. I kiss her skinned knees, I wash her gown of the stains, I restore her future; I will walk with her in the light of life. U R my Bride. When you pick me, U R wed to me, my Beloved. I am the Most High God and nothing is impossible for me, not even this. Trust in me. My grace is sufficient. My power is made perfect in weakness. Anybody weak? Anybody not perfect? Any family not the ones on the cards? May my Grace abound in you. May I shelter you in the shadow of my wings? May the Christ child be born in you this Christmas?
The world makes it about ribbons and bows, races and rows, toys and pretty things, treasures and silly strings of More in a world that needs Less Rush, More Stillness, More of Me.
May Christmas be born in you this year. All-sufficient grace. It is enough. Really. For His grace sustains, and grows, and fills in all the gaps, yielding a harvest of peace for those who crawl for it, scratching, searching. Grace is the jewel in the carpet of life. Grace is the jewel that lights the tree and grace is the gift beneath it, that we might go about doing all the things of Christmas with Christ IN US, born in us. New in us.
Knowing he grew as a branch from a stump — a stump, a cut away, hard, chopped off, lifeless stump. From a stump, life grew. Hope sprouted.
From this stump, there will be life. Declare it over your circumstance. Proclaim it. Believe it. From this stump, life will come. I believe it.
Thank you, God, for this trial (you fill in the blank). Thank you that this trial is pushing me, driving me, forcing me to lean into you and believe you at your Word. That from this perseverance, the character you want to shape in me will come, a character to match a destiny. From that character, produced by perseverance through a long and difficult trial, from that, Hope. Sprouts.
He is our Redeemer, and because of that, U R Not Alone. U R Cherished. Chosen. Held. Adored. Loved. And Comforted today by Grace.
Thank you, that Christmas is Christ in us.
Enough, sustaining Grace for this day, and that. Whatever “that” is for you: Christmas to that. Jesus to that. A Most High God to that.
May Christmas come to you!
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
At the age of 18, I was recovering from an eating disorder, cutting, and suicide when I read Jennifer Strickland’s book Girl Perfect and it changed my life. At the age of 33, as I travel the world reaching youth for the gospel, this is the only book I recommend to girls who are struggling. The Lord has truly anointed Jennifer’s words through her story, not only to address the struggles of today’s generation of girls, but also to walk them through the healing necessary for victory.
Jennifer is a captivating speaker. She keeps the listener hanging in wonder of what’s coming next! Her presentation is not only absorbing, it reveals the truth of God’s power to heal a wounded spirit.
Barbara Brown, Former Stonecroft Ministries Regional Representative, San Diego, CA
“The ‘P’ word [perfection] may be the heaviest burden women bear. All the misguided things we do to attain it can keep us away from what we need most – the unconditional love of God the Father. The Girl Perfect Study Guide gives you a map to the wholeness you were created for.”
Nancy Ortberg, author and former teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church
“The Girl Perfect Study Guide shatters the lies girls and women believe and points to the ultimate truth, which really does set us free. I am confident that this study will help thousands discover a beauty, purpose, and worth that truly lasts. Thank you Jen for exposing the ‘perfect life’ and inviting girls to experience God’s ‘perfect love.'”
Allie Marie Smith
Allie Marie Smith, Founder of Wonderfully Made
One of the best testaments to what Jennifer is doing for the young girls and women of today is a comment from my eleven-year-old granddaughter: “Grammy, I want to read this book and hear her again. She’s good and I learned a lot.” This is exactly what I experienced from a grown-up perspective when I was introduced to Jennifer Strickland’s amazing story. Read it and see if you don’t get the real story from an icon model and a powerful speaker of truth.”
Thelma Wells, D.D. (Hon), President of Woman of God Ministries
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