"Supposed to.." tugs within my head.
Please tell me, you've heard it too? How you have felt the pressure, at this season? How we are "supposed to.." always be singing and smiling. It's the time of year, we are "supposed to.." exuberate a joy, more-so than any time or season.
For a baby has been born. A miracle. The Messiah.
And we all know, true faith rests upon the fact that all He has, all He is, should be all engulfing and sufficient.
Yet to be honest, how many of us live different? How many of us tare away the wrapping, decorate our outward personas, while inside we are dying?
How many of us run the treadmill towards the "perfect season", then miss the quiet still, the peaceful sound, the grace that falls like snow, if we fail to purposefully silence our souls?
I can feel it. I want to spiral down. Like the Titanic hitting an iceberg of perfection. I have wallowed in chilling seas before, and felt the war of others boasting at how great their life is.
And it worsens as, this season, I see his little stocking in the Christmas box. Left isolated and alone. The pain rushes back as if it had been held captive. Just then, a tsunami hits my soul.
We missed putting lights up, again. A party filled with people. Still, the lights that are "supposed to be.."...the ones the neighbors have....plague my thoughts in the middle of this scene of joy and happiness.
I get a card from a church planter. A lady and her husband who are quiet, serene, and the most Godly people we have ever known. They have been in my faith, like second Grandparents. The words I find..."my husband died. It has been very hard year."
And I want to wallow in it all. I want to sink into this ship of my thoughts. The one Hallmark's "supposed to's..." taught me.
Yet, He flashes in front of my eyes, as I fight for truth this season.
Yes....I know I am not enough....Not enough to bake good food, decorate just right, get over the pain of loss, and all these feelings that carry me tonight...
But then, He whispers..."I am".
And at the remembrance of His Promises....a peaceful, silent night when a manger held the secret to it all, infant-like monopolizing the power to destroy all our "supposed to's...". Knowing this Small One has the Lordship to shatter the discontentment of wanting some idealistic life, taking back the lies telling me I need a Hallmark life, for happiness....
And I remember how the God-child rested unarmed. How He lay quiet, vulnerable, and alone that star-filled night. And where along the way did I loose my way? Forgetting He had not the "perfect" life. He was martyred, died, tortured so that I could have more than pipe dreams and the sinking of the Titanic...
And why do we miss Him? Why do we walk by the manger, who waits with the gifts I need most, this season?
Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. And Self Control.
And the reality of "my can't" takes hold. As I long for the God-infant more than ever before this season?
While amazed, I stand. Amazed to think that I ever let Martha Stewart, or Hallmark, or some worm-like thoughts ruin my Christmas. That I let perfection rob me of the joy it is to be dependent....admitting that I needed, I need, and I will always need that hope found in a Savior.
Yes, I am not enough. None of us are...if we are honest. But, our God is! That infant who chose no fanfare, no blinking lights, no decorated life...though He could have.
He took on weakness. He took on humility. He took on hardships with the embodiment and power of God himself.
I walk by the Hallmark section again. But this time, fore-go the pomp, and worry, and hype that has seemed to consume me in times past.
And I lay the life of "perfection" the "supposed to's" and "I can'ts" down....
There at the feet of the manger...where Holiness swallows up the deficits all around me...
And somehow all becomes still, silent, a quiet night.
And that is where my soul finds Jesus.
Where does your soul find Jesus this season? How might you slay perfection and find the simplicity needed to see Jesus this holiday?
This post is part of the Joy Series
(Linking with Lyli, Grace Alone, Emily, Michelle)