It is Christmas, and I will acknowledge the elephant in the room by saying we all know it has not been an easy year. Everywhere we look, something can overwhelm our senses, turning our focus inward, and unfortunately, away from all that matters most. As the year-end closes, I watch it fade in the distance, wishing it well as I remind myself of what has truly brought me healing and joy—the Word of God and my faith in Jesus Christ.
The other night, I was flipping through the television guide when I came across a faith-based channel. A reporter was conducting live street interviews engaging passersby, asking people what their focus was this holiday season. One gentleman stood out to me the most by sharing that this life is not about him. He looked right into the camera and said something to the effect of, “When we quit focusing on ourselves, and we aim to help others, we are changing lives for the better.”
During a long, humbling journey of recovery from a mild traumatic brain injury, I finally learned what taking the focus off myself meant. Despite my faith, hard recovery work, and determination, finding joy through those challenging years was something I did not understand for a long time; I was angry. Traumatic brain injury survivor Patti Foster calls her miraculous recovery experience Gods way of inspiring a “transformation of character.” I would agree with her wholeheartedly.
Through His Word, I have learned how to stay healthy and strong during life’s storms. Through His Word, I understand what it means to love your neighbor as yourself. Through His Word, I am grasping the concept of Grace, knowing I am not perfect like Him; I am human. He died as a cost of my sin and imperfections so that I might live eternally in heaven. Through His Word, I learned that He is always there and that my intuition is not my own; it is the Holy Spirit guiding me. Through His word, I have seen how prayer enables me to help others, even when it feels like I can’t. Through His Word, I know I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
As this year ends, my reflections of joy are on the many beautiful things that have happened overall. I never thought I would hear myself say how grateful I am for my hardships, what a tremendous gift from God. He renewed my awareness of the power of faith, healing, and unconditional love while delivering answers to prayers as blessings that continue to reach deep, far, and wide.
The Lord of all Creation is the greatest gift of all. In the spirit of the season and celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ’s birth, here is a shared video from Crosswalk.org, enjoy!