As this year comes to an end…and especially at Christmastime, my heart is set on the people I love who have suffered great losses. Those who understand the crushing suffocation of emptiness and the deafening silence that loss brings.

As a person who only somewhat understands, but mostly as a mom and a friend who has had the honor of walking alongside the broken-hearted, my goal has always been to defend; to help defeat and conquer grief. To stab a stake through the heart of mourning so that we might be free, unshackled, or released from it. Not that sadness is ever a competition but more of a thing that will not win. It will not destroy us. For me, the sight and objective has always been set on getting to the land of Well With My Soul found in the city of Thankfulness. Thankful that God trusted us enough to love those He placed our lives and to love them well. Of all the souls on the planet, He gave them to us to love. He knew at times the path would be an arduous, uphill battle filled with missteps, drama, and heartache…but he still chose us. I’m not anyone special. I’m just a girl. A girl that has hopes and dreams of how I think things should go. But the thing with having your own plan is this….God’s purpose for your life will ultimately and always interrupt your own. God’s purposes always interrupt the human agenda.

I was in my command center (kitchen) a few days ago and had Christmas music on. The song “Mary Did You Know” was playing….I’ve heard it a millions times and have always weighed it’s stirring verses but this time I heard it with a fresh heart. I thought: Mary,did you know that your son’s life on earth would be filled with controversy? Mary, did you know your son would be wrongly accused? Did you know He would die an agonizing death? Knowing the torment and heartbreak that not only He, but you would have to suffer would you have still stepped forward in faith?

Thinking about how overwhelmingly excited and honored she must have been to have been chosen to be the literal mother of God….did she ever think about what would happen next? Mothers are blessed by bringing forth a living light that has a God-planned purpose. But what I have learned is that blessing and ease do not always go hand and hand. There is usually a cost. But another thing I have learned is that God’s blessings ALWAYS transcend the sacrifice. Childbirth in itself a perfect example. Nothing God does in this rebellious world is uncontested; as we partner with him, we inevitably enter into opposing realms. In the end glory outweighs the pain; sacrifice the cost, heaven defeats death, and love always wins. If sweet Mary would have been rooted in this world, her greatest blessing would be forever her greatest curse. But she had an inextinguishable faith. Her blessing, no matter the outcome, was rooted in eternity. She knew that God’s blessing would transcend her sacrifice.

With the losses my family has experienced, I can clearly see where God’s purpose has collided the world’s agenda. Sudden and tragic death was not how we thought things were suppose to go down. But God knew….and here is where the well with my soul part comes in, where His mercy and grace shines brightest: It doesn’t end with death. The purpose rooted in love and hope, continues. Megan’s, Will’s, Colby’s, William’s, …the list goes on and on….purposes continue to shape us as they continue to bring love, change, and redemption to our family and ultimately the world around us.

I hope I’m forever bold enough to continue to ask for His blessing, however costly, because in the end, it’s always good. It always brings redemption because every trial we experience is an opportunity to be carried closer toward our destiny; who we were created to be and closer to where we are suppose to go….home….Heaven.

I think Mary’s story should be profound encouragement to us all. We are all just jars of clay designed to carry a treasure of some sort. A treasure that can’t be buried by death. We are just earthly seeds planted to become heavenly beings that bring Love to earth through our lives…even after we pass from this world to the next. It inspires me to live as Mary, choosing faith over fear and fully aware that a Messiah lives within me. Would I do it all again? Would Nikki, William, Cameron, Scott, Shannon, Buffy, Juanita, Paulen, Beth, Helena, Lee, Megan, Holley, Dee suffer the sacrifice for the glory? Would you? I don’t even really have to ask…My answer for everyone of us is a resounding yes. We would do it all over again just to have the joy and honor of getting to love the people God gave us, even if only for just a minute.

Sometimes I struggle so much with the why? But something inside of me clicked with that song. There will always moments when all seems lost. That is when it is critical to remember that there is continuity in God’s promise and plan. He is always weaving. His will and His plans will be accomplished, just as He said. All those words about being reunited in Heaven with life eternal? Guaranteed. All those promises about how He will defend, guide, protect, heal, strengthen, restore and deliver? Certain. He takes the fulfillment upon Himself. That’s why He came! It’s why we celebrate Christmas in the first place….it’s the day our Savior was born; Our Emmanuel – God with us. As the song says, “the sleeping child Mary was holding is the Great I Am.” Mary really was blessed and forever highly favored. Through her child, so are we. He is faithful and His plan is always good. Every. Single. Time….His plan is LOVE.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a new year full of hope and gratitude for all the blessings we have been given in precious name of Jesus. ❤️