God’s presence is seen even in a not-so-good year.
I’m not sure how many people still write Christmas letters. I remember receiving the letters and smiling cards from people about what a wonderful year it had been and the perfect world they lived in. I think about this and with my own sense of humor wonder what that would look like for me:
“Well, all this year has been blessed with a continued copious amounts of surgeries, the loss of many friends and a continuously empty wallet. Please enjoy this picture of me, my scars, my dog and my empty wallet. Merry American Christmas tradition…and yeah can we work on that Happy New Year thing?”
Please read that with my horrible sarcasm intended.
I feel like the Grinch during the holidays. I find it very stressful as they all create a false sense how we should be happy and go lucky in the midst of such tragedy, hurt and evil. Thankfully although I may not feel happy about this last year I can choose joy throughout this season. Joy knowing that my struggles of this past year and of the one to come are conquered. They are conquered by the birth, death and LOVE of our Christ Jesus. They are not conquered by the time that has passed because one after another have hit and will not end December 31. They are conquered because Christ has showed up in every trial and victory.
I can’t honestly say that I have seen a man with long hair, dressed in a white robe appear before me in a bright white light. If that’s what you’re looking for in the hard times you may be missing it. For me personally He has showed up in His word, through the people He has placed in my path and allowed to be taken from my life. He has showed up in His physical healing and strength. He has shown His presence and even when I don’t see it I know the truth that He is my Lord and Savior.
So, here is my Christmas letter for you.
JOYous Christmas. This year has been filled with trials, pain and losses. It has been a difficult adventure but one filled with so many lessons on the strength of my God. So, although you may not find it merry in this stressful season remember that you can find Joy in the birth of Christ who is your savior. Man I am wishing for a happier New Year for all. No matter what it may bring God is Lord and always by your side.
Copyright Ashley Foxworthy
I have always had an adventurous soul and proudly an “adrenaline junky.” I love to live life not knowing what is around the next corner. Some of these adventures I have chosen, others I have and would not. The combination of adventure, adrenaline and living in Colorado has naturally led me to enjoy the outdoors in ways more than a peaceful hike. Although I used to always enjoy a quiet, relaxing hike. Some of the sports I enjoy include climbing both rock and ice, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, camping and whatever other creative way I can get out and play. As I dig deeper and deeper into the word I relate so much of my adventures with the adventure of following the Holy Spirit. I hope that through sharing those adventures you may be encouraged to step out in faith and follow the crazy adventure God has for you in this life. The climb is most definitely not an easy ride to the top, but the view from the top beats any ache, pain, stumble and fall along the way. So clip into your rope and get ready for the hardest, most rewarding climb of your lifetime. I can’t wait to be at the top with you and view all of God’s splendor.
Ashley is an adaptive athlete. Although she has always had a passion for enjoying the outdoors that passion increased after having a spinal cord injury at 24 causing incomplete paralysis and muscle weakness throughout her trunk and legs. She continues to enjoy wild adventures with the help of adaptive equipment and assistance of others. There have been many ups and downs throughout the years but each reveals more and more of God’s grace and faithfulness.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV