As we near the end of 2018, I wanted to send you each love and gratefulness for sharing your light and kindness with us throughout this year. I also can’t help but reflect upon the last twelve months and to be honest sometimes it felt as though the valleys were deeper than the mountains were tall. Perhaps some of you can relate?
For me, this year has been challenging, filled with personal heartache and loss as well as truly traumatic events in our community. Losing my brother this fall broke my heart and I still feel waves of grief wash over me even as I write. Then several weeks ago we got an urgent call to evacuate our home due to rapidly approaching, out of control wildfires.
After weeks of evacuation, uncertainty and anxiety we are finally back in our home. We are more fortunate than many families here in our hometown of Malibu as at least we have a home to return to. For this we are truly grateful and holding tight to God’s unwavering goodness, even though the grief feels too great at times. And as I turn my mind to preparation for the holiday season, it feels strangely bittersweet and out of place given all that has happened this year for me, my family and so many others.
I know that bad things happen to people all the time, we get knocked down and we have to find our way back up, trusting that there is purpose in the pain—that good can and will come of it, by His grace and radical ability to work all things for good.
But the truth yet remains, I have struggled this year more than any year in my life. I sit here feeling the weight of loss bound up in this year and know how easy it would be to tumble into a well of sorrow. But for every blow I have felt, I am reminded evermore of the need to be grateful as I trust in His ability to uphold me. And it is there, in the safety of His presence, with gratitude, that I find freedom from the pain of loss.
I love the saying, “when you feel stressed remember you are blessed.” So, today I am counting my blessings afresh and thanking God for every single one of them. Even the pain. For in the pain I am given another opportunity to grieve in the safest hands; the hands that uphold me, will never disappoint and from which all blessings have and will forevermore come.
So, as I put up my Christmas tree, I am reminded of all the joy and love in my life. As I unpack my Christmas dishes and my old Santa collection and all the tree decorations, I remember the gift of this season. Each ornament, each tradition, holding the sweetness of something remembered and these memories are my true treasures.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Roma Downey