(This post was written in the early years of my autoimmune disease, while I was dreadfully sick, but we had no answers as to what was causing my suffering.)

Lord, my heart grew heavy and calloused during the holy season of Thanksgiving. I pulled away from you, angry at this unrelenting physical suffering. My distancing of myself was gradual, never intentional, purely human. As Christmas approached, thank you for opening my eyes to recognize my coldness. Soon I enter the New Year.

I know the theological truths.
I know you work all things together for my good.
I know you refine and remake me for beautiful things and your glory.
I know how perfect and fitting each act of refinement has been.
I know you are good and loving and that you do all things well.
This I believe.

Forgive my stony heart, my weariness of trying to walk in your footsteps in the middle of pain and fatigue. I stepped outside the indentations left by your feet and ran screaming and falling across the slipping sand of my own clumsy and erratic path.

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It circles inward, and I kept meeting myself. But I’ve lost it. I have no resources to offer. This trial brings me to the end of me. Yet again, this is where the stretching and growth occurs. I know.

This teetering on the edge sensation is now the norm. Fatigue has always been my weakest spot, so the lesson is good. I have to cry out to you constantly to help me. I want to live like you. But I am charred.

Pleasantness is not in me. Holiday emotions and occasions have often shoved me over the edge, and I continue to tumble. I am humbled. Desperately, I cling to the ledge with my fingertips.

Reach down and grab me up, Emmanuel. Be Christ with me.

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You put on human flesh and came to live among us, so you could be broken. You came to experience our suffering and pain. We are human—-flesh and blood and shattered—-and so you also put on flesh like ours. You experienced this pain, misunderstanding, and heartache, especially as you approached death.

I can draw near to you, because you are a merciful Savior who knows what it feels like to be tempted to turn away from God’s plan of suffering, to harden the heart. Yet, you did not turn or harden, and you entrusted yourself to the Father’s will instead.

You can help me to do the same. Help me!

As I leave Yuletide and approach this New Year, I want a soft and pliable heart. I want a yielded body and mind. Do with me as you will. Not my will, but thine be done.

In the yielding my heart softens to you. Hold onto me. This is my prayer.

“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him” (Romans 12:1 NLT).