Heartbroken but Not Defeated – Welcome 2021

I think “heartbroken” is a word many of us have had cross our minds over the past few months. Heartbroken for all those who have lost loved ones and this is their first Christmas season without them. Heartbroken for those who have suffered great loss and were unable to be with them in their last moments. Heartbroken for a world that seems to have forgotten how to disagree and still love. Heartbroken because of the hatred that has been shown and the lack of respect that has been displayed. Maybe just heartbroken for a world that seems to have forgotten how to love in general. 

But how do we move forward? Is there a lesson to be learned? If you have ever read my posts in the past you know that I always think there is a lesson to be learned in every situation if we will just allow God to speak.  

A few days ago, as I was crying out to God, so sad for the world and the things we are living through and watching unfold, I stopped and wiped my eyes and apologized to God for being so heartbroken. Now God doesn’t audibly speak to me, but let me tell you what I felt in my soul. “Feel it my child.” “It’s ok to be heartbroken. Don’t be afraid to feel. Don’t be afraid to let other people know your feelings.” Deep in my soul came the bubbling of emotion that I had tried so hard to suppress. 

You see, as a child, I felt deeply. I guess I still do. But society is not thrilled with deep emotion. Especially not deep emotion in the form of sadness. Society loves the display of deep emotion in victory. Incredibly enough, they even seem to love the deep emotion of hate and anger. But sadness is not an emotional high. Sadness does not give a boost of adrenaline. Sadness makes people feel uncomfortable. 

Some of you will stop reading here because you now have decided that you do not need something else that brings you down. You will close this post and move on. I totally understand. But I ask that you give me a chance. I ask that you hear what God has been teaching me. I feel that it is so important for our world and maybe for you! Would you join me on this journey? 

I have cried quite a bit this week. But my tears have not been from hopelessness. I can grieve freely because I do have hope. I still totally and completely have faith that God will handle this in His time. I know that hope is the confident expectation that everything God has promised, He will do. I cry because I have allowed myself to empathize again. I have allowed myself to try to see the world through the eyes of my Jesus. You guys, Jesus felt emotion! He cried, he laughed, he got angry and frustrated and happy and all the things! It’s ok. Actually, it’s more than ok. It’s necessary.

Perhaps…maybe, just maybe a deep emotional connection with people and situations is what we need. Maybe, just maybe the media, the mainstream video game creators, the film and movie and television writers have so desensitized us to murder, atrocities, injustice, illness, death, trauma, disasters, and violence that we are losing our ability to feel at all. We are losing our ability or at least our desire to show compassion. We are losing our ability for empathy. We are slowly trading our ability to feel for an ability to remove ourselves from reality and just pretend everything is simply a script in a formulated life over which we have no control. 

Maybe, just maybe we are afraid. Afraid to open ourselves up to feel. Because when we do so, we open ourselves up to pain. But in an opposing view, don’t we also open ourselves up to great joy, to love, to excitement, to fullness?

Allow me to explain myself. I believe John 10:10 to be true. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” There has been a lot of stealing, killing and destroying going on. We have given way too much time and attention to the spirit of fear. But now listen folks – “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

I firmly believe when God tells us in scripture that He came for us to have life to the full, that He means all of it! Let me say that again…all of it! I can’t imagine life without all of the emotional ups and downs. Without turmoil, how would we ever really appreciate peace. Isn’t it sadness that causes us to truly value the happy times? Storms build our faith in the anchor of our souls. Through the journey we learn to be content and to have joy regardless of circumstances. God intends for us to stretch and to grow. He intends for us to observe, adjust, learn. That is all part experiencing the fullness of life. It is a life rich in experiences, finding treasures in the midst of all situations and trusting Him every step of the way. 

So let’s examine 2020 using scripture as our method of discernment. It has been an epic year. Our families, our country, and our world has experienced things that only 12 months ago we could never have even imagined. Racial unrest, social injustice, political upheaval, uncontrolled anger, violence, lack of respect for life ranging from the unborn to the elderly, and a media that has positioned itself not as fact finders and reporters, but as the measuring stick for all things social, personal, political, economic and spiritual. I think one of the most disheartening things is that we have allowed it to happen. Satan, through many paths that we have opened and groomed, has had an incredible amount of freedom to do his damage. 

I guess we could say that 2020 would get a failing score if we only looked at the negative. But, it hasn’t all been negative. The hands and feet of Christ have flown into action through first responders, parents, teachers, and health care professionals, and so many more. People have given up their own lives to save the lives of others. Prayers have been offered by the billions. And God has listened. Families have spent time together, lots of time together. There have been conversations around the table, games, puzzles, laughter, tears, all shared together. The new phrase, “Together-Apart” has taken on special meaning. Memories have been made as a family unit by some families who hadn’t spent real quality time together in months…or years. 

People have learned how to be creative again, how to try new things like zoom, FaceTime, facebook live, and curbside pickup. And we have learned how to return to old things that were thought to be old fashioned, like cooking together, eating together, reading together, and just talking face to face. People have learned to just be silly in an effort to bringing some joy to others. We have realized just how essential we all are to each other and how much we really do need each other. 

And then the slow appreciation that came of the simplest of things. The smile shared across a room, holding hands while we pray around the table, running into the store for something we really don’t even need, grandkids and grandparents being together, and the hug. Oh, how I long for the hug of loved ones and friends again. Now in some states, like my blessed state of Texas, we understand the importance of physical contact!  We hug – a lot. We speak to each other in the store. We even stand in line and visit with people we don’t know. We share and support and high five. We cry together and laugh together. We worship together. The lack of physical contact has been more difficult than any of us imagined. 

So, here is my question… Have we learned?  Have we learned enough to change the tide? Have we learned enough to made a difference? Let me speak directly to my Christian friends for a moment. You know my friends, it is up to us! It’s not when and if everyone else gets their act together. It’s when and if we follow God’s word and shine His light. 

Read this scripture, “If My people, who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14. 

Just because the calendar turns to January 1, 2021 in a couple of hours doesn’t mean the world changes. Truly, the only change can be if we choose to change. If we choose to always let love be our first response. If we choose to always put others first. If we choose to always look through the eyes of Christ and let that be our only filter. Then, and only then will the tides adjust. Even if it gets worse before it gets better, there is hope my friends. My hope comes from God and through Him all things are possible.

Welcome 2021. Let’s do this!