HO, HO, HO… and it really is a Merry Christmas!
I have already received so many Christmas gifts, it isn’t even funny! To be quite candid with you, my husband and I have already given each other our Christmas presents. (We are worse than little kids!) BUT… the greatest gifts I have received this year haven’t come wrapped in shiny paper with a bow on top. The greatest gifts have come in the messy wrappings of relationships; the sight of bright eyed kids; and situations that leave me dripping with tears as God restores families…. I am extremely blessed. Today, I want to share just one of my many Christmas blessings with you:
Often, when a student comes into Teen Challenge their trust level is at an all time low. It is so hard for many to be able to open up – to let down their many defense mechanisms – to let anyone behind their mile high walls. There is one such “student” – precious, sincere about wanting to change, but she definitely trusts little, if at all. In fact, she has been in program for sometime, and we had never even seen her shed a tear. No way was she going to seem weak. She has been too hurt; too let down; too degraded, to ever let anyone see a chink in her armor. Enter Christmas…. Enter the amazing kindness of others… Enter a break in her defense mechanisms.
This time last year she and her child were in dire straits. Her life was totally out of control. Her family in shambles. She came to us to deal with her life controlling issues, and has begun to see that Christ really can fill every void and heal every wound. BUT… trust is still a major issue for her. She always has to stay in control. Well, an amazing group of believers decided to bless our women and kids. They went to great lengths to make sure each child had gifts – in their sizes and something they were hoping for. When this “Mom” saw her little one open up gifts; when she saw the pure joy in her child’s eyes – and when she saw the pure kindness of people she really didn’t know, the dam broke. She wept as she helped her child open gifts. She could no longer keep back the wave of emotion that she had held in for so long. The sight was amazing. There wasn’t a one of us who weren’t openly weeping as this precious one broke! You might be asking yourself why her breaking was so important? One of the reasons is because it put a “chink” in her armor! It is helping her to let her walls down. She is beginning to see the importance of the body of Christ in her life. And, just maybe, she is beginning to catch a glimpse of how she is loved beyond measure and accepted right where she is at by the very God who created her.
Life lessons for us: We will never know the impact of a simple act of kindness, so be on the lookout for opportunities to minister. Everyday watch for God’s “little gifts”. They often come messily wrapped in human flesh – but underneath is a treasure trove of pure beauty. And finally, be watchful as to how others are blessing you: through all types of relationships; the sharing of joys and sorrows; and even in something as simple as a hug. #thetruemeaningofChristmas #thepurejoyofgivingandreceiving