Christmas is just a few short weeks away, and while I am looking forward to it and enjoying the season and all the festivities leading up to it, I am also mindful today in particular of those who are struggling, hurting, in a very dark time. It probably feels as if there is no solution, and it may even seem as if there's no way to climb out of the hole you are in. As Ryan and I are coming to the end of 2012 and looking back at what we have experienced, I find myself asking more questions than finding answers. In fact, there are questions I have no answer for at all. I am quite frankly dumbfounded, at a loss for words to describe, to understand. I think I am finding on this journey of faith, as I continue to talk with God about it, and explore what the Word has to say about it, study a number of resources, find any source for answers---some of them may not come until I stand before Him. I don't like that. I don't like that I can't figure it out, that I can't get a full grasp on it, that it is not meant for my tiny human brain to comprehend. How many times have any one of us wished we could have the answer for someone we know who is in pain? We have all been touched personally by something that has occurred close to us, to someone we love and would do anything for. If only we had a magic wand in our back pocket to whip out and make it instantly better, right? Well, there's a reason for it and believe it or not, God intends it for our good. I think it is remarkable to consider ourselves at our best when we are broken. When we are broken, when we find ourselves finally in this place of complete and utter helplessness, when it seems all hope is lost and we've hit the dark and dirty bottom, that's when it happens. He begins to make us into precisely who we are intended to be from the beginning.

A great song came back to me today and I had to look it up and listen on you tube today. Crystal Lewis, oh my word the girl can sing and has such a gift. This one stuck to me years ago and has come back around. It fits with where I am at right now. This is just the place He intends for each of us to be, and although we can't make sense of the hurt, the struggle, why it seems like it will never end, the truth is He is there with us, all along, and ready to make us new. You will heal, you will come through this, my friend, and He will provide for you.

When sorrow seems to surround you
When suffering hangs heavy o'er you head
Know that tomorrow brings wholeness and healing
God knows your need, just believe what He said

When what you've done keeps you from moving on
When fear wants to make itself at home in your heart
Know that forgiveness brings wholeness and healing
God knows your need just believe what He said

I once was lost but God has found me
Though I was bound I've been set free
I've been made righteous in His sight
A display of His splendor all can see

He gives beauty for ashes
Strength for fear
Gladness for mourning
Peace for despair

(Crystal Lewis/Ron Kenoly, from the album "Beauty for Ashes")
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