As soon as the ugly words passed through my tense lips, I heard the voice of God speak to me. “You are living what you are performing. Where am I in this picture?”
For two weeks we had been practicing for the Christmas Eve performance of “The Christmas Spirit” which my man had co-written and was co-directing, but for months we had been creating and building it. I was to be the female lead, a wife and mom in desperate need of PEACE in her life. I was excited to take this role when it was offered to me. I was also excited to see our church do a Christmas Eve service that was not a mish mash of different things, like a talent show of sorts. It was to serve the purpose of offering peace, joy, hope and love to all who entered the sanctuary doors.
But the more and more I prepared for my role as the woman in desperate need of peace, the more I became that woman. It wasn’t until those ugly, flesh ripping words spouted from my mouth that I realized my deep need.
Maybe it was just the nature of the beast. I mean, my entire family in one way or another was taking part in this production and it was taxing on all of us.
Maybe it was the words of constructive criticism that we heard that cut a little too close to the heart that week. Or the words of personal attack of my leadership.
Maybe it was that I hadn’t had a decent nights sleep in a week because of the dog. She can’t help it…she has this hormonal issue that causes lack of bladder control. So when she’s got to go, she’s got to GO! When her hormones get out of whack, even the medicine that she takes daily doesn’t completely help. It was like having a newborn again, up every 2 hours all week.
Maybe it was because I seem to do nothing but dwell on the fact that this may be the last Christmas that my eldest is at home with us. He’s growing into a man before our eyes and father time is quickly ticking by.
Maybe it was watching a friend nearly my age say good-bye to her soul mate. Cancer ravaged his body and life for over half of their marriage. I couldn’t imagine losing my love at such an early age. Maybe it was the fact that at a funeral that should have been packed with hundreds of people who loved him and her, there were only a handful, twenty at best. Where were all of his friends, his people who had promised they were praying for him?
Maybe it was the hole that has been empty in my life since April 25th, 2010. I missed her deeply. Sometimes it feels as if I cannot even breath. So many Christmas Days were spent with her. I remember our last one together. We skipped tradition and ate chicken fettucine alfredo. It was delicious. Her gift that year was, as always, handmade. A wooden frame with the scripture penned in her own writing, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is older he will not depart from it.” She said we were shining examples in raising children…
…and yet here I was on Christmas Eve, spewing words at my son that would make a sailor blush.
In that moment, as my Father’s gentle gracious words poured into my soul, He reminded me that I am always in desperate need of Him. Yes, this was a trying season. Yes, I was bubbling with emotions happy and sad. Yes, I was tired and overwhelmed. Yes, I was fully enjoying the privilege of performing for Christmas Eve. Yes, I missed her deeply. But without Him and making Him my first priority, there would be no peace.
So I prayed for forgiveness and I sought Him as my Prince of Peace.
On Christmas Day, one of my greatest mentors in my life took me aside and told me how believable my role was on Christmas Eve. He said, “I don’t think there was one person in that audience who didn’t believe that Bob (my onstage husband) should be in fear for his life.” I laughed and thanked him for his kind words, all the while I thought of my son who had been in fear for his life because of the harsh words I spoke the day before.
“Father God, I am so thankful that you love me enough to remind me how much I need you. You are my Prince of Peace. You are my Savior, always ready to save me. Forgive me when I forget and try to take care of everything myself. You died for me to carry my burdens, no matter how big or small they are. Whether they are deep losses or loss of sleep, you are always ready to be my Prince of Peace.
Praying that you all experience His peace this season!
Peaceful Groovy Girl