The other day I was sitting with my husband on the couch staring out the window at the small snowflakes falling to the ground, and I told him I felt depressed and I didn’t know why. With life sometimes we just get depressed and we don’t know why. Life isn’t always about the happy, or even the blessings we are so privileged to have.
I’ve received many blessings, and experienced a number of difficult and sometimes tragic things, without really even asking for any of them. I’ve experienced God in them both, but mostly in those moments where I needed Him the most. I think our blessings can take us away from needing God and relying on our own efforts and talents. For me it does anyway. I see God in the small answered prayer, and also in the difficult moments when I need to rely on Him.
But the other day was one filled with what one would call “blessings.” I really didn’t have anything to really complain or be sad about. Maybe it was the weight of the brokenness that I have experienced within the past year that was weighing heavily on my heart. Or maybe it was the reality of how life is just quickly passing me by since winter reminds me of another semester of school over, and another year of life coming to a close.
I can remember very clearly where my heart was a year ago, and it just makes me realize how much my heart and my life has been changed forever this year. So maybe the depression and the sadness was a result of all those little things accumulating into one moment in my life where I just didn’t know how to process it all.
As I was sitting there looking out the window at the snow, the thought of colorful Christmas lights came to my mind and it started to lift my spirits a little bit. I asked my husband how difficult it would be to change the lights on our Christmas tree from clear lights to the colorful Christmas lights. He said it wouldn’t be difficult.
For some reason in that moment the thought of colorful Christmas lights lightened the sadness in my heart, a lot.
For as long as I can remember I have always walked this life as a follower of Jesus trying to live the purest life.
Maybe this sadness during this advent season, and this shift away from wanting the purest looking tree on Christmas, and purest looking Christian life, I was shifting towards allowing my life to the colorful mess that it is.
I think this year has taught me that no matter how pure your life may seem, it will never be perfect this side of heaven. Sure there are choices we can make that will take us further away from God’s will for our life. But our focus doesn’t haven’t to be focused on perfection.
I think wanting to get away from the clear lights on my Christmas tree was Holy Spirit showing me that I need to move away from the unrealistic expectations I have for my life.
I really don’t have a problem with clear Christmas lights, I think they are beautiful. But for me, in this year, I have been able to find the beauty in the messiness of life, and maybe the clear Christmas lights are just a reminder of the person I was once was, and never will be ever again, and I feel like God is saying that’s OK.
The most amazing thing about the advent season is that you take the time to pause, feel, and listen to the Holy Spirit. You take the time to truly reflect on Christ, His birth, and what that means for you and your daily life throughout moments ahead of you.
So needless to say, I am getting rid of the clear Christmas lights this year, and I letting go of my pursuit of creating a perfect everything, especially the perfect walk with Christ.
Instead of being ashamed of the pile of ashes that I sit in that has accumulated from a life of brokenness and broken people, I am going to find the beauty that God promised He would give me through Jesus.
P.S. My gift to you is the Isaiah 61:3 scripture image shown at the top of this post. Just download, print, cut out, and enjoy!
Download by clicking on this link: Advent Day 15 Scripture Image Download