Man, has God been showing me in small (to others) ways the freedom He can give if we would just take it.
Can you imagine someone trying to give you a gift they made, bought, or handed down to you and you continue to refuse it? Well, it seems that is what I have been doing, closed off as I have been, with an area in my life.
Here is God giving me, with all his heart, a gift but I have continued to turn my head and say it's okay, I can do it on my own. This is the struggle that doesn't have to be, yet I have continued to feed it and allowing it grow.
This month we are learning how to have complete Joy without all the hype and "extras"of Christmas. You know what I mean when I say...shopping, decorating the house to perfection, talking to others about grace, love, and peace, yet refusing it to your own loved ones. Gee wiz, how selfish I have been.
After reading the things we can do to end this year with a new beginning, one goal caught my eye. "Reconnect with a family member, friend, or someone you have been estranged from and make peace with them."
I know God did that on purpose. He knows my struggle with this person and He doesn't want us to live like this anymore. I am the one who has to make this step, I know. This blog is just my accountability and I want to do this, as nervous as I am.
I once heard a pastor say that the true meaning of "JOY" is found in that 3 letter word. Jesus Others You. Sad to say, with this person I have not lived it in that exact order. I lived it in my order, You (me) Others Jesus. And on a good day, You (me) Jesus Others.
God is so patient with me, as with you. I am so thankful He deals a little at a time with us. I don't know what it would be like if He threw everything (sin) from our hearts at us and gave us a deadline to resolve it all by. What a merciful, loving, saving God we have.
What does JOY look like to you?