Praying in Christmas -

It is Christmas-time again!!

 My heart is filled with joy and excitement and also with the bittersweet feelings that come along with memories and wishes and prayers. Because you see, I want something, yes, many things, that may never come true here. I desire this earthly healing, healing from His hand, for some beloved friends, and I know that God may not give that. I have to adjust my view from Earth to Heaven, and see this in the light of Eternity. That's what I'm praying for myself. To view all of this in the light of Eternity. 

This doesn't come easy to me. It's only Dec 1, I'm in church singing of Emmanuel coming, and tears are already gathering, because I'm right back in that room where my best friends' daughter and sister lay, the heartbroken sobs that would not stop, and that cold, cold day in the snow when we were promised MORE, but not here. And it is Dec 2, and Henry is the same age that Avery was when Avery went to Heaven. It is so unbelievable, so hard, so aching to remember we have to wait a while to see him again. 

I'm in tears all over again, and all it takes is one Christmas carol to remember how much we need a Savior. Christmas is full of memories, some sweet, some sad, some bitter, some aching, some tender. 

Christmas of 2011 was a hard year. The Pattersons lost their daughter and sister in Barbara, and the Sprouls lost their mama and wife in Denise. I went from one sorrow to the next. A few months later, and the summer of sadness of 2012 came into full view. I can't tell you how much it aches

I believe it is important to pray in Christmas every year, but this year I'm also asking for others. 
I've begged and prayed and dreamed and wept and cried and moaned in sympathy for these people.
I want here and now and MORE and joy and no cancer, no goodbyes, no grief, no pain.

But as I read recently....earthly healing IS only temporary after all. Death still follows earthly healing.
But Heavenly healing is FOREVER. There is no sadness, there is future loss, there is only wholeness for them. 

Please continue to pray for Kara and her family. Pray for a wonderful, special, restful, amazing Christmas.
Pray for many years on this earth for Kara, and her cancer to lay low and allow her body to be restored. 

Pray for Abigail Smith. I followed her photography years ago, and was devastated to find her FB page recently and learn she has terminal cancer, and is dying. No one can forget those red curls of hers. :) Pray for strength and sweetness with her family, and for the cancer effects to be minimal, so she can enjoy this Christmas. 

Pray for our dear family friend, Wade Williams. He has Glioblastoma, and is fighting it bravely. Wade is one of my dad's best friends from GA, and we've been family friends a long time. Please keep Wade and Jennifer and their family in your prayers as they fight fatigue, and keeping their hope strong in God. 

Pray for a wonderful lady from my church whose cancer has come back, and larger than before. Her name is Elise, and her husband's name is Joe. They work with Wycliffe Translators and are special people. Pray for wisdom as they seek how to approach this news and treatment options. 

Pray for the Notgrass Family as they miss and mourn the loss of Avery, and Melody and Glory. Pray for a special Christmas with Henry, even as they miss their Avery-man, and their other little ones. John wrote this this morning:

"Henry is as old today as Avery was when he went to be with Jesus (16months and 7 days). Henry is doing great, and we are super thankful for him. (I know Avery is doing great too, but I don't get to enjoy him right now). December 2nd is also the date in 2009 when our first daughter Melody went to be with Jesus. 

Life is hard. My heart goes out to all of you who are suffering today, for whatever reason. 
It's not wrong to feel mad, upset, and disappointed....I also know that life is good. 
We must be on guard so that our feelings do not lead us into a dark place of despair. I want to celebrate today. It's the only day I have!" 
(Thank you so much for sharing that, John!) 

And keep all those who have lost loved ones in your prayers as well.
Holidays are hard, no way around it. 

For me, and for everyone I love, I'm praying for peace, for rest, for joy, for grace,
for eyes to SEE this...all of this sad, aching, - in the glorious light of Eternity. 

The One Who came to dwell with us, He is making all things new, and will keep us safe in His arms of love.

With much love and thanks,
~ Jean Marie ~