Updated: Nov 14, 2021
JOY & PEACE DESPITE DIFFICULT TIMES! 🙏🕊
Sharing more from my heart 💜
I shared the below post originally 4 years ago, during one of the hardest years of my life so far, which was 2017. My dad passed away earlier that year, and we had quite a bit more heartache, betrayal, persecution, and loss. When this came back up in my memories, I wanted to share it again, as I feel it may help some others who have been through some very difficult and sad times this year. Many have lost loved ones, jobs, relationships, and been through many other difficulties. I know what it is like...believe me! I am praying for you during this season. I hope this post will help. Remember what it is all about...and Emmanuel, God is with us! 🙏❤🕊
Original post: Nov. 10th, 2017:
I may or may not be playing Christmas Vinyl records on the record player as I work on some things around the house today! The one I play most is Perry Como Christmas...I remember it from when I was young. I know, I know...it may be too early for some. Thanksgiving and Christmas to me are all just a part of one big season of thanks, joy, peace and happiness...and I like for it to start as soon as possible! 🥰🦃🎄🎁 🌟
It is an overcast and rainy type day here in Monroe, GA, and it's the perfect day to get some things done in the office and around the house. Hubby has been working on site at a job yesterday and today, so it's just me and the Lord...and my trusty kitty of course! 🐈
Darin Shiflett...Missing you singing these songs with me babe. I love that we are both sentimental and nostalgic, and that we both embrace the little things that make us feel warm and joyful this time of year. 👩❤️👨✨💞
I absolutely LOVE this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas! This year, however, I must admit it is a bit more melancholy than other years since my dad will be spending his first Christmas in heaven. (No...I don't really think they celebrate Christmas there.)
There have also been other very personal losses for Darin and I this year, and those can try to put a blanket on the happiness of the season. As I have shared before, this has been the hardest year of our lives by far. The year of 2015 was hard because I lost my sister that year, and also had some other personal issues that happened regarding us having a baby...but this year has far surpassed it in the amount of heartaches, warfare, persecution, and general awful circumstances. Darin and I both turned 40 earlier this year. I was told that our 40th year represented the "end of testing" biblically...I'm thinking it's more the year you're tested the most! Although it has been hard, we have stood...and having done all, we have stood still! I know many others have gone through similar struggles this year...losing family members and/or loved ones, struggling with sicknesses, finances, relationship issues. Not to mention the intense spiritual battles, persecution, and overall warfare that has been harder than any year I can remember.
Although we are finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel (or is that a train! 😜🚆) over the last few days and weeks, we are still raw and bruised. Although we have had much breakthrough and excitement over what God is doing in our lives, we are still overall tired and weary. Weary from fighting so hard for so long. Yes, we know it is only a season, but the heaviness tries to set it, and your hope for the future begins to be diminished over time.
In the middle of all of this, with the holidays just around the corner, I made a decision this week. I made the decision that I am determined to celebrate this wonderful season that I love so much! I am determined to enjoy the gifts that the Lord has given me. I am determined to celebrate and receive the peace, happiness and joy that comes with the season. I will enjoy the lights, the music, and spending time with family and good friends. I will give thanks for the fact that I have a husband that loves to enjoy those things with me. Yes, I know that Jesus most likely was born in Sept, and not Dec. It's okay, I'll celebrate the entire season! In the meantime, while I'm celebrating, I will try to bring happiness and joy to some others who may be struggling this season. I will celebrate it because I know my dad (and my sister and brother) would want me to. I know Jesus would want me to enjoy it also. I believe He delights when His loved ones are joyful, peaceful, and happy just as we do.
I will celebrate the fact that I have a Father that loves me so much that He sent His son to earth, to become a man, to make restitution for me. I will celebrate and stand in awe of the fact that the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us...and that the same Spirit that placed the seed of God into the womb of a virgin, lives inside of me! 😮 He is my Comforter, Guide, Helper, and Best Friend...and He has never left me. Even in the midst of all the pain and dissapointment, He stood quietly beside me and let me know that He was there.
So...in this season I will celebrate all that is good. I will drink wassail, have roasted chestnuts, and pumpkin pie. I will have fellowship & fun with my family and good friends, and play hours of Mexican Train. I will enjoy the lights, the tinsel, and the beautifully wrapped presents...and yes all the scrumptious food! 😛 I will let my heart be filled with all the joy and peace of the season. I will sing with so many others in the world, and join with the many voices of others who have come before us - "Joy to the world, the Lord has come, Let earth receive Her King!" 🌎 👑
Because of Jesus coming, my loved ones are now there with Him. Because of His coming, I will get to be with them and Him in eternity also, when it is my time. So, I will sing, I will praise, I will love, and laugh, and enjoy all of God's many blessings this season....because He came. He came, and nothing has ever been the same on this earth since that amazing day! 😀🙌💖
Praying for you,
Amanda Shiflett ~ Prophetic Reformer