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When home hurts


Each year begins and ends differently.  Christmas day is a benchmark of how my year has been.  As a child, the coming of Christmas was a time of excitement and anticipation.  As an adult, the coming of Christmas is a time of memories and reflection.  The American holiday season is a time that acutely highlights what we should have and what we don’t have. Christmas becomes symbolic for longing.  The longing for a Messiah does not seem to end with the reminder that the Christ is born.  I long for the joyful aspects of my life as a child.  I long for the fulfillment of the joy I expected to experience as an adult.  Life got in the way, again and again.  My parents are gone. My family is far away; or close, but not accessible. Promises were broken. Dreams were delayed. Hopes were derailed.  I built new families and joined new communities. I am proud of myself for forging new paths.  Yet, I live in a starkly silent home; and it hurts. The Lord said: “It is not good for man to be alone” [Genesis 2:18].  Loneliness is like a deep cavern of the soul. Just as God did not make human beings to live in caves; He did not make human beings to be alone.   So God sent Jesus into the world as the light of the world. [John 9:4-6].

My need for a savior, a Messiah, the light of Christ, is a year-round, 365-day, type of need.  My constant need for the Christ is why I am personally and deeply grateful that  the “Word became human and made his home among us.” [ John 1:14 NLT]  I can celebrate the wondrous birth of the baby Jesus, because I believe he came for me.  “Even if my father and mother left me all alone, the Lord would take me in” [Psalm 27:10 CEB].  When I am painfully aware that the conditions in my home hurt, I remember that God is with me. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” [Psalm 147:3 NIV].  Knowing that God is with me; that he will never leave me or forsake me [Hebrews 13:5], comforts me.  It also gives me the courage that I need to confront the hardest challenge-the one right in front of me, my life and my home.  I can turn to the Lord, the Christ, with confidence. He will be with me as I sort through my pains and memories from the past. He will be there as I plan for the new year and my future.  I can end this year and start the next one: “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” [Titus 2:13 KJV]

– So repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God—seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day];  and that He may send [to you] Jesus, the Christ, who has been appointed for you,[ Acts 3:19-20 AMP].