Hey there, it’s Alicia! Can I ask you a question?
Have you ever tried to recreate one of those beautiful cakes, or decorate your tree and house like one of those perfectly posed rooms, only things didn’t go as planned? I have had more Pinterest fails than I can keep up with.
I can also remember a Christmas that didn’t quite live up to the picture I created in my mind. I bet you do too.
I wanted everything to be perfect for my little family. I imagined pretty pictures of giggly girls in matching red and green plaid pajamas. I wanted to see them opening gifts under the tree. I wanted cookies and carols, hot chocolate and marshmallows. You know, the perfect little scene.
But in reality, I was a stressed-out, divorced momma who just couldn’t bring that scene to life. My world felt like it was falling apart. The tree was up, the stockings were hung, but I felt so alone and empty. This was simply not how it was supposed to be. We were supposed to be a happy little family, especially at Christmas. That’s how I had planned it and what I thought God wanted.
Honestly, I felt like a complete failure, like I had disappointed God and everyone else. I couldn't see a way out of the darkness that seemed to be consuming me. In my distress, I sat down one night beside the tree, and my broken, troubled heart called out to God. Friends, it’s so true what Max Lucado says in chapter 4:
“You cannot face a crisis if you don’t face God first.”
Max is helping us learn this week that when trouble comes — and friends, it will come — we can know that God loves us and wants us to come to Him. In fact, He has everything under control!
That sure makes me feel confident in taking my troubles to Him. I hope it does you too.
That Christmas, crying out to God gave me perspective. My focus shifted from what I couldn’t provide, to what I already possessed. My focus shifted from failure to blessings. My focus shifted to facing God.
No, He didn’t take my financial struggles away. He hadn’t provided a new husband (yet). But He did provide a creative way to celebrate.
On Christmas morning, though my little girl received gifts her big sister had received a few years prior, and big sis received some recycled gifts as well, we all received more love and joy than we could handle.
So yes, that Christmas truly was nothing like I thought it would be, but it was everything God designed. God was with me and that made all the difference.
How are you doing with taking your troubles to God? What do you need to take to Him now? Let's share our thoughts and/or our prayers in the comments!