The end of another year is upon us and like many, it is a time of reflection for me. It could be because I am getting a few more candles on my birthday cake, but my priorities, my focus, and my desires continue to evolve and grow deeper.

My grandmother, who was absolutely loved and adored by all of her grandchildren, used to teach us lessons without us even knowing it. She was a petite little thing that had very little in material possessions, but was possibly one of the most wise, strong, and loving women I have been blessed to know. At Christmas time, we would ask her what she wanted as a gift. She would say, ” I have everything I could ever need” and then ask for something like new, knee high panty hose. (Nothing says love and Christmas joy like buying knee high pantyhose, by the way). What she always desired was time with those she loved and her heart made us all want time with her as well.

This year, about 10 days before Christmas, I found out I needed to have some unplanned surgery. I mean, really?! I LOVE Christmas. I love all that it stands for. I love the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and the salvation, hope, and healing He chose to give for us. Having surgery was going to really mess up my Christmas season of joy and celebration…or so I thought.

Most of my weeks are spent listening to heartbreaking stories and doing what I can do to minister to the hurting. As a Pastoral counselor, I lead support groups, and Bible studies and want desperately to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Honestly, it is hard and lonely work. I don’t say that too often because it is such and honor to be trusted to do what I do. But this Christmas season, I was the one hurting. I had very little to give and I was forced to receive. I have felt so uncomfortable being served and loved on, but the Lord knows, I needed it. Honestly, don’t we all just need to be loved unconditionally?

I continue to see and experience that we all need each other. Sometimes we are the giver and other times, we are the receiver. We are made for relationships. Jesus came for…people. He came so that people could have the choice to accept His gift of salvation. He came to heal the broken and embody the love of God. See, what matters the most is people and love. This reminded of a familiar passage that I pray to carry through 2018 and beyond. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 teaches us,

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

I think my grandmother would be proud of me. I like to think she is in heaven in her brand new, knee high pantyhose, smiling at me with a sense of pride that I am really getting what matters the most: love and people. I am thankful beyond words that I am a woman that continues to be blessed by both.

Happy New Year to you all and I pray you have a year filled with love, peace and a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ ~ Courtnay

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *