The Glory of it All

“One of the most important lessons I have learned over the past few years is how important it is to have time and space for being with what’s real in my life — to celebrate the joys, grieve the losses, shed my tears, sit with the questions, feel my anger, attend to my loneliness.”

Ruth Haley Barton, Sacred Rhythms

There is so much I want to say, so many joys to express, so much grief to share, so many tears to weep, so many questions to ask, and occasionally there is anger in it all, and often there is this burning loneliness knowing I am the only one who fully bears and understands all I walk through. I am learning to accept it all, to sit with it all, to be real with it all…

My silence isn’t for lack of desire in writing. The days are full of very good things and very hard things. They are full of caring for my home and family, and I am finding that I have little time or energy for more than this. Most days I am okay with this, after all, my calling as wife and mommy is primary and I love being and doing what I have been called to do and be. But some days I want to rant and rave and ask all the questions– the whys and the hows. Why must I crash at 7:30 at night and not have the energy to spend with my husband? How am I to tend to all of these wonderful things I am needed to do when I can barely tend to myself sometimes?

As always, I stop and breathe and inhale the sweetness of grace. That I need not be all things to all people, that I only need to be me. And being me means saying “no” to things I might want to do, so that I might say “yes” to what is important… caring for my soul and mind and body and caring for my family. And I shut out the noise of my false guilt that wonders what others must think of me. Because I hear it so often, “You look good.” or “You don’t look like you feel so bad.” And I brush it off with a laugh and an “It’s amazing what a little make-up and shampoo will do for you.” Because y’all, a little make-up and shampoo may do a lot for the outside, but inside there’s still pain.

Pain that leaves me having another CAT scan next week. They are looking to see if anything needs to be repaired with my colon. If so, I am facing another surgery. If not, then it is probable that I am still just needing to heal.

Then there’s this morning when I woke to screaming pain in my eye and head. As the day progressed, things got worse, and I went to the eye doctor where I learned I have two ulcers in my eye. Who knew that was even possible? I am on 3 medications for that, and the doctor prepared me with, “You’re going to have a pretty miserable weekend.”

So tonight I am sitting with tears and a little bit of anger. My plans for the next few days have been radically altered, and frankly, I’m tired of altering our plans.

But I stop. And I breathe. And I remember that God directs our steps. And the sweetness of grace refreshes a weary spirit. I can make snow globes with the kiddos next week, and we can bake cookies another day. If the Christmas brunch doesn’t get made, it will still be Christmas. (However, I am making Italian Stew for Christmas Eve if I have to do it with one eye closed!)

It may not feel like Christmas sometimes, and these past few weeks, I have felt that gnawing ache of the loneliness of walking through pain and feeling the weight that something’s wrong. Or rather that something’s not right.

I recently had someone ask me how I got out of bed in the mornings.

I had to catch my breath and sit before I could answer. I had never really thought about that before. I shrugged and said, “I have no other choice. Who will care for my loves? Who will be wife and mommy and daughter and friend if I am not? I do what I must, and in choosing to do that, I find great joy, because I am doing what God has called me to do even if it’s hard.

But y’all, it’s more than that.

My feet touch the floor each morning, because every day is a new opportunity to bring Him glory. Even in the muck and mire of this life, I can bring Him glory.

After all, He left glory for me.

And I stop. And I breathe the breath of Heaven.

And in these days where I wonder if life will ever feel “right” again, I know the answer.

Christmas.

He came to take all of this wrong and make it right, only it’s not right yet. But one day… One day the second Advent will happen and all will be made right.

And this gives me great freedom. Freedom to buy and lavish presents on my children (something I love to do… what a beautiful picture of the love God lavished on us!), freedom to wrap and bake and decorate as I can, freedom to give and bless, freedom to sing carols and look at sparkling lights, freedom to cry and ache, freedom to eat good food and take longs naps and be with family, freedom to celebrate…

..to really celebrate Christmas.

Because it doesn’t have to be ideal to be Christmas.

It just has to be us… giving glory…to Him.

5 responses to “The Glory of it All”

  1. My heart hurts for you, Angie, because while I don’t truly understand, I can imagine, and that causes me to cry out to God for you. Praying now that God would give you relief from your eye pain and headache, and that being surrounded by your family and watching the giddiness of your children will bring you deep inner rest.

    Waiting expectantly and longing for the 2nd Advent.

    Merry Christmas, my friend.

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  2. Oh, dear Angie, You had been on my heart today numerous times, and I didn’t know why. I guess God just brought you to mind. I am praying for you my friend. Just want to tell you I love you. You are precious. And you ARE bringing Him glory. More than you know. Hope you feel better friend. Much love, because He loved much, Carol

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  3. Angie, my heart is so heavy and I HATE that you are in such pain. Thank you for sharing with us your present pain AND your hope of future glory.

    With love and prayers, Debbie B

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  4. so grateful for your reminders that Christmas isn’t about the ideal.. Jesus’ entry into this world was anything but ideal. I grieve that you are enduring such hardships with that feeling of loneliness, but I pray that this celebration of His incarnation would bring a new element of “God with us” to your journey.

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  5. My precious Angie,

    I have you in my thoughts often and my prayers.

    I am so thankful for what God is producing in your life during this time of your trials. The love and pure devotion to Him is glorious. The gratitude for the simple things and the constant trust in HIs soverign grace is an aroma of Christ to God. My precious one, we are His workmanship created in Christ to good works and the works that we are to do is to believe in His whom He sent. Your life is an open vessel of His work and I am grateful that I can partake in this glorious grace.

    To God be the glory,
    Merry Christmas to all of you,
    Judie
    xoxox

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