If anyone…

I caught a glimpse of myself tonight in the church window as we exited the Christmas Eve service, and what I saw grabbed me by surprise.  I was smiling – a fact of which I was aware. But it was a big smile.  A genuine smile.  A smile from my heart.

Had you asked me seven months ago if I’d be smiling at Christmas, my answer would have been an unequivocal no.  How can one lose a baby and still smile?  How can one’s hopes and dreams be shattered in the course of several hours and go on to pick up the pieces in a few short months?  How can life move on again in hope?  I certainly could not – not by Christmas, and possibly not ever.

But I was wrong.  And I saw it tonight – all that spontaneous and authentic joy beaming from my face.

As I was running around today, one shade less than frantic with last minute Christmas preparations, I couldn’t shake these words…

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. (James 5:13)

So I grabbed my nearby computer and looked it up.  That phrase is followed by this one…

Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.  Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

I didn’t understand until I saw my reflection in the glass this evening.  That is me.  I am anyone.  From suffering to praise.  From sorrow to cheer.  From the absolute depths of despair – a place where life seemed awful and death didn’t seem any better – to a place of healing and peace.  What an amazing journey!  I don’t say this with any sense of pride or thought that I’ve accomplished it on my own; I haven’t.  On my own, I’m certain I’d continue to be in my situationally-imposed pit, suffering daily with a heartache that would be too big to bear.  But I’m not, and the only reason I’m not is contained in those words above – the prayers of others offered in faith and grown in comfort through my faith in God and His love for me.

I try not to be too preachy, but as God brought today together for me in this tender way, I couldn’t help but share how I’ve been healed and where I find hope.  I know there are others hurting.  I know.  I may not know the precise pains; there have been broken marriages, unpaid bills, affairs, and lost jobs.  There are mothers without children, dreamers with failed dreams and people whose situations only get worse no matter how hard they persist.  There are a host of problems and heartaches being faced this Christmas;  these are just some of the ones with which I’m personally familiar.  People are hurting.  Some of you are hurting.  And I’m sorry.


I’ve been there.

I’m still there sometimes.

I may not know your situation, but I do know grief and how long and deep it stings.

What I want you to know is this.  It won’t always be this way.  It won’t.  As much as we’d like to be able to control the outcomes, we can’t.  No amount of manifesting our destinies can control the minutiae of our lives; no amount of planning can guarantee an easy pass; no amount of forethought can control all accidents and mistakes.


You will see beauty from this.  It will start little and it might grow slowly, but it will be there, as certainly as the ocean’s waves keep coming.  It might not be the beauty you expect to see; the pictures in your mind might have to adjust to include a different – but equally beautiful (once you’re used to it) – reality.  As certainly as the earth revolves around the sun, a smile will cross your face one day and it will come from your heart.  This, too, shall pass.  It’s not just a cliche.  It’s a promise – from God, from the universe, from me.

This Christmas, I would love to make everyone’s dreams come true, my own included.  I would heal your struggling marriage.  I would bring back your child.  I would find you a job.  I would pay your bills.  I would solve your child’s health problems, physical and emotional.  I would heal the broken-hearted and bind up your wounds (Psalm 147:3).  But I’m not God and life isn’t a fairy tale – and I know it’s not yours, either.  So on this special holiday, I offer for you the only thing I can – prayers of faith, from a person who has endured suffering to become a person of gratitude and joy.  The pain isn’t gone, but I found it to be matched by a richness I’d only ever coveted from afar in the past.  I pray the same for you.

From an “if anyone” who suffered to an “if anyone” of cheer.

There is hope, at Christmas and always.

I wish you the merriest of Christmases, and I hope your day is filled with a hint of the richness that is to come in 2010.

With love,


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  1. So beautifully said. Thanks for sharing, Heidi. You are amazing!
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..100 joys 58-61 =-.

  2. WOW!! thank you!
    thank you!
    .-= Vicky´s last blog ..One year ago today… =-.

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