On Google Reader I'm reading a ton of blogs with beautiful, devotional reflections on Christmas.
Additionally, some of my writer friends sent me Tweets and emails wishing me Merry Christmas and sharing Jesus-y thoughts.
Not dirty toilets, spontaneous-combustion stoves, poopy diapers, toddler wrangling (and wrestling), knitted snakes stretched across hallways or all the other compulsory tasks that remain undone.
I'm forcing myself away from aforementioned thingies to reflect on the evidences of Jesus today. In my life. In December.
Most of you know my family dwells in a pit of trials and strife of all kinds. Accidents, injuries, job-losses and chronic pain conditions have depleted us to the brink of nothing. More so now than ever. Our needs increase as the ability to access them decreases.
On our own steam.
A kindly stranger overheard a conversation I was having with a friend about the hardships and weariness that plague my life. Filled with Jesus in her heart, she got my information from my friend after I left and sent me a HUGE check. It arrived in time to lessen my medical debt as I face two more MRIs this coming Sunday. God knew I was going to be hit hard again with headaches and more tests. He provided. I can get my MRIs.
John took his car in for an $18.95 oil change. $1000 dollars later...
God provided by allowing John's boss to double his Christmas bonus this year. He was able to pay for his car and some other unexpected expenses and due payments.
Christmas shopping for us didn't happen. It couldn't. Jesus moved some dear friends to play Santa Clause to my family by showering us with gifts not only for Kyle but for John and I! Something to look forward to tomorrow morning!
Earlier this month, Denver Water sent notice they were going to shut off water to our house due to ONE MONTH's unpaid bill. We're in that place where we have to let some bills go unpaid in order to eat.
In the same batch of mail was an envelope from my parents. In it was a check for the EXACT amount of money owed to Denver Water. I called my parents in tears. How did they know?
Mom said that God impressed it on Dad's heart to send us some money for food and bills. So they did.
This past weekend, Psalm 42 went to the Adams County Detention Center prison. We gave three concerts to two groups of men and one group of women. With each concert, we pulled out a few songs and added personal testimonies. Several men from each group received Christ and the women found hope and encouragement.
Get this. The group elected me to share with the female prisoners. My nerves buzzed with electricity as I agonized over what to share. I've never been to prison... er, a brick and mortar prison...
One young girl sat curled in a ball on the front corner chair. The sadness in her amber eyes was unmistakable. She was at the end. Life offered her nothing but bars and stripes. Why go on.
So I talked about something none of them were able to relate to: depression. After my ironic intro, the floodgates opened. ALL of the women wept. I touched them where they hurt the most. In that moment, God told me to share with them my depression experience that hurt the most. It was as if He asked me to expose my dirty underwear and shake it all around for the world to see. I was trying to forget my darkest moment. Bury it. I'm practically an outsider among certain circles at my church. I've been deemed a threat. Rejected by some of my once best friends. Why bring it out?
When God says "Do." You do.
I felt like a ventriloquist's dummy. The Holy Spirit snaked his hand up my back and moved my mouth. His words fell from my mouth. I didn't spare any details of my darkest moment of wanting to die and trying to do so.
Why am I here today?
Well, there was this little baby boy born 2000 + years ago in Bethlehem. Born to die. Born to save.
In a way I've never experienced before, I shared the gospel. The hope of this Jesus we celebrate. Jesus nudged my husband to come downstairs as I tried to cram pills in my mouth. Jesus surrounded me with new friends from ACFW and WFTJ. Friends who didn't look at me like I was a rotting grape, rather friends who gazed on me with compassion and understanding. Friends who have been there.
These women related with my story. The hope on their faces was the best Christmas present ever. Having God use me, weird little me, to send out a nuclear shock wave in a prison, reinforced His reality.
The chaplain asked if I'd come talk to different pods of women about depression and suicide. It's an epidemic in that place amoung the women.
Is Jesus real?
I wouldn't be here blogging and smelling a poopy diaper if he weren't.
Merry Christmas. Dwell on his presence in your life NOW.