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From the moment your eyes open to the last minute of the day, your life is filled with nonstop action. If you aren't careful you can become so overwhelmed in meeting the demands of life that you forget to spend time with your Creator and Sustainer. Our daily devotionals written specifically for women in all walks and stages of life, will change the outlook of your day and give you the inspiration you need! Spending any amount of quiet time in the Word of God will refresh and encourage. Find a Bible devotion here and see how God can work through you to make today a joyful day!

Finding Joy Can be Hard - Encouragement Café - December 2, 2015

Finding Joy Can Be Hard

Café Menu for Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Today’s Special is:  Christmas Is Not Always Joyous

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Kim Smith

Main Ingredient:

So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.

John 16:22 NLT

Entrée:

In the spring of 2010, I experienced the most traumatic event of my life; the sudden death of my husband due to a massive heart attack.  I cried out to God not to take him as I tried to restart his heart with CPR.  Sadly, God had another plan in motion; my husband died and a part of me died with him. 

My husband was my best friend.  He was the perfect partner and a godly man.  Yes, he had his faults, but I loved him dearly.

As, the days, weeks and months went by, I was swallowed up in a grief and depression that I had never known.  I managed to get through the days with the help of my family and friends moving almost robotic-ally, putting on a fake smile and pretending I was fine.  

Six months after his death the holidays began to approach.  The dread of the festivities grabbed my heart and squeezed even tighter.  While I have never been a big fan of the commercialism of Christmas, this year I was dreading the event even more.

How could I get through this holiday without the one I loved most?  

My mother, best girlfriend, aunt and sister-in-law came to my house and decorated it with trees, lights, ornaments and my husband’s cherished Christmas village.  While it was beautiful, it did nothing to lift my spirits.  Christmas Day came and went that first year with little joy for me.

I had to take a step back and take a look at the big picture.  Christmas isn’t about me or my loss; it’s about a Child that was born, lived and died for me.  He has given me precious gifts: the love of my children, the support of my parents and family, and wonderful friends.  The most precious gift Jesus has given me is salvation and eternal life.

Four Christmases have passed and even though the pain has subsided somewhat, I still miss his presence during the holidays.  When sadness creeps in, I remember the Christmases that my husband and I shared.  I also remember a Child born long ago, who promises that I will be with Him and ALL my loved ones soon.  One day, I will look into the beautiful eyes of my husband again and that is JOY!

Take Out:

One of my favorite verses in the Christmas story is:

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Luke 2:19 NIV

During this Christmas season, take some quiet time out for yourself to reflect on the past Christmases.  Ponder those that were especially memorable and special to you.  Try to keep those precious memories close to your heart.

Dessert:

Dear Father, this time of year is a difficult time for some of us, as we miss our loved ones.  I ask that You would comfort those who are dealing with the loneliness and help ease their grief.  I thank You for the precious times that I shared with my husband, family, and friends who are in heaven with You now.  Thank You especially for the gift of salvation, which is more precious than anything else!  I love You so much, Lord!

© 2015 by Kim Smith.  All rights reserved.

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