What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Advent Thoughts: Today I Choose JOY!

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
to preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
and the day of vengeance of our God;

To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of JOY for mourning,
The garment of PRAISE for the
spirit of heaviness;

That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord,
that He may be glorified."
Isaiah 61:1-3

As most of you who have followed this blog the past few months know, I have been working through the grieving process since the passing of our son this past May.  Most of the time I seem to be doing just fine, continuing to go through the motions of life every day.  There have been some difficult days, and there have been some wonderful days.  

Particularly as we have approached the Christmas season, there have been waves of grief come over me from out of the blue...totally unexpected and catching me off guard.  I expressed my feelings to friends and family, sharing my frustration with attempting to Christmas shop and send out our usual Christmas letter.  I have felt locked up inside, unable to render enough energy to handle these basic functions of preparing for Christmas. Most people have responded with love, compassion and understanding...helping to relieve the pressure that was building inside and freeing me to not cave in to the expectations of the season by doing more than I was capable of doing.  

Others attempted to remind me that I should think about the family that I still have here and not spoil Christmas by my lack of participation.  This was done in a spirit of good will and encouragement, and I understand where they are coming from, but as I tried to explain...this is not something I am doing deliberately. It is something that is occurring from 'out of the blue', totally unannounced or expected. Not something I can control....it is grief...pure and simple...well, maybe not so simple...rather complicated when you think about it. 

However, as I read these verses today, I recognize what Christ came to earth to do for us ..especially in the verses that say:

"To COMFORT all who mourn,
To CONSOLE those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
the oil of JOY for mourning,
The garment of PRAISE for the 
spirit of heaviness..."

and remarkably, that has given me "COMFORT", JOY, and a GARMENT OF PRAISE!"  It has unlocked something inside so that I am able to CHOOSE JOY in place of the mourning. I am deliberately choosing to put on that "garment of praise" and rise above the "spirit of heaviness" that has been pulling me down.  That is not to say that there won't still be times when the grief will hit me, but claiming God's Word gives me the strength to stand up against the sorrow and not allow it to drag me down.  

This reminds me of another one of our Christmas Carols:

"God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen" (click here to hear)

And may the Lord be glorified as we preach these "good tidings" of comfort and joy everywhere!

For previous thoughts on this subject from this time last year, Click HERE.


  1. May is very recent, and you are going through grief in the way that you can. I am glad you have people around you who are supportive and sensitive. Sending you a hug with this comment.

    1. Thank you Terra. I appreciate your kind words and hug! Today I am choosing joy...and going Christmas shopping for the first time and hopefully the last for the season...it will be a day to "shop til I drop". But I am thankful that God is renewing my strength and giving me the JOY to carry on. The prayers and wishes of my dear friends, like yourself, are helping to sustain me.
      Have a blessed day, my friend!

  2. Pam: I heard a woman at a panel discussion at a retreat I attended say that it takes one year, bare minimum , to get through the process. She had lost her husband a few years earlier. We live in a grief denying society. But, we have God to help us through these times. No one can get through the process quickly. We have to keep looking up. Let God guide you through your days. I'm glad you are choosing JOY.

    1. Thank you Cecilia. I believe the person you are quoting to be correct...at least one year. And with each anniversary of significant events, holidays, etc., there will be flashbacks and setbacks until that day passes. I know that there are times that I stop and weep for my mother, who has been gone to heaven for 8 years, and my father...3 + years. I miss their sweet presence here with us, but I wouldn't wish them back for anything. Grief is something that happens without warning. I believe it is more healthy to let the tears flow and acknowledge the emotions (without becoming histrionic or overly demonstrative)...and recognize that this is all a normal process of healing. Trying to suck it in and ignore it will only cause deeper emotional issues. Thank you for your thoughts. Today was a good day and I got a lot done...shopping for others for Christmas...and it felt good. God is good. So thankful.

  3. Pamela, I'll be praying for God's Spirit to give you comfort and peace at this time, the bond of love you and your son had will always be with you. Find some peace in that he's with his Lord this Christmas.

    1. Yes, I do have that peace and comfort. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts. I am feeling much better. God is helping!!


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