“What I’d really love for Christmas is to not have to make one more decision.”
I wasn’t talking to a friend, my husband or family. It was December three years ago, and I was talking to God. My brain felt like the emoji with the nuclear head exploding and a nap sounded like the perfect holiday gift.
I longed for a remedy to my weary, decision fatigued heart, but my brain moved too fast to see it was right there in front of me. For weeks leading up to my white flag of surrender the questions mounted with rapid-fire succession. Should we travel or stay home? What dates should we go? How much money should we spend on the kids? Should we buy a gift for this extended family member? What should we get?
To be honest, Christmas felt more like an endless chore than a celebration of our Savior’s birth.
Instead of the childlike anticipation that used to fill me before the big holiday, I felt like I was struggling to breathe. The promise of a New Year with a clean slate, new possibilities and goals beckoned me.
When my six-year-old came home from school each day during the week, he threw all the contents of his folder on the table and demanded I look at everything right now. By Wednesday, it took every ounce of patience I had to tell him to please give me five minutes while I got his sister settled.
As I shopped for gifts on Amazon, scheduled a blog post and paid bills, I wondered why I couldn’t seem to hear God speak. But the truth was he could have been shouting at me and frantically waving his arms and I probably wouldn’t have even noticed.
Then a tiny space of quiet came. The kids were in bed, and my husband came into the living room after letting the dog out. He told me to put on my jacket and come outside.
I didn’t want to. It was cold and I was tired. But I did it anyway. He took my hand and led me down the stone pathway to a place where the light from surrounding houses was dim.
We looked up at the sky, and it was illuminated by more stars than I had seen since I was a child.
I ignored how cold my legs were and spun around so I could observe each viewpoint. I felt like I was a kid all over again.
We found constellations and noticed how the Milky Way’s band was almost visible against the backdrop of darkness. I wondered how the wise men felt all those years ago, following the bright, beautiful star through the desert to meet their new king.
They didn’t question or second guess their decision to travel all that way. They just knew. And I realized something.
When we don’t allow quiet space to hear God, his voice is covered by the noise of life.
I think most of the time we run around acting as though we have to make every endless choice on our own, but we have a Helper. A Helper promised by the One who gave his life so we would never be alone. He isn’t there only for the huge, life-changing decisions but for the everyday, seemingly mundane ones as well.
He’s there to be our guide. When we invite him into our day instead of a short, five-minute snippet, our hearts can slowly let go of the restlessness. We can let go of the worry. He’s promised to lead us and that we will hear his voice, through the big and small.
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
While things may not be perfect and troubles will still come, we can hold onto the assurance that he’s with us. Because we’re no longer orphans, friends.
We’re sons and daughters of the Most High.
If you need further encouragement that God is for you, even in the midst of this weariness and the unknown, I encourage you to pick of a copy of my book, Shift: Changing Our Focus to See the Presence of God. Many people have sent me messages saying it is a timely book for this season. This encourages my heart so much. I pray that God continues to use it to touch lives.
I also created an Advent plan to go with the book, which you can sign up to receive for free. To sign up or find more details, click here.
You can pick up a copy of Shift by clicking the image below.