On December 31, 2014 I was over my best friends house and she had this really cool, black wrought iron, copper horned Christmas deer that still had the tags on it. I admired it so much and after complimenting it she just handed it over to me and said “here, you can have it”. I felt so grateful and honored. This is a truly generous friend who gives me things all of the time. But this seemed different. As if it was a sign.
I already started to put my Christmas stuff away so I figured I would just put this away and enjoy it next year. I decided to write myself a note and attach it to the deer. For me that was random and I wasn’t sure why I had this urge but I decided to stop what I was doing and write. At this particular time in my life we had just moved down to North Carolina from New York and we were just coming off of 3 years of financial and personal hardship, loss and tough times. We were living in a rental home with very little financial resources and desperately trying to rebuild our lives. Christmas that year was running on a very tight budget and the fear of no money for the New Year was lurking in every purchase. I was raised abundantly spoiled at Christmastime and with a family that overspent for Christmas every year. I was OK with not spoiling my children as it was a nice reality check for them, but if our accounting had its way, we would have needed to skip Christmas altogether. Although life was starting to look uphill and I stayed loyal and trusting in the Lord, I still felt stressed out and struggling with each and every day. I prayed my heart out but some days I forgot to be patient and listen for God.
Yet this weekend, as I started to unpack our Christmas décor, excited about bringing in the spirit of Christmas, I came across the forgotten deer and the forgotten note.
The note read as follows:
Jodi, remember how you were feeling on this day December 31, 2014. Ken wasn’t sure about his job with Oracle. We were still broke and unsure of the future. Lauren gave you this reindeer which you admired and it should serve as a reminder that even in the lowest of lows, fear and uncertainty, God is with you and loves you and you will be safe with him. True friends, family, church, and love is stronger than your fears and God is stronger than your circumstances. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, acknowledge him in all your ways and he will send your paths straight”. Proverbs 3:5-6.
I was amazed and overjoyed as I read this note as I felt the presence of our Lord in every word. An epiphany of sorts and a poignant reminder that he doesn’t abandon us during our difficult times. He is right there seeing us through and he is so proud when we acknowledge our worries through trust in him. As a result, he gives us exactly what we need. He reminds us we can’t enjoy the sun if we don’t endure the storm. We must appreciate our place in life as it is God’s way of helping us grow and giving us that gift of wisdom that he does not spread around lightly.
At the end of the day, that Christmas was just as beautiful as any other. It didn’t have the material gifts we were used to but it had something better, gifts of friendship, family, fellowship and love. Yet regardless, we still had some gifts to share, food to eat and most importantly a Lord to praise with much gratitude.
My husband received his offer letter one week later and by June of this year we were able to purchase a beautiful home where we can continue to spread our roots enjoying the company of our new friends, our beloved family and our new homeland down south. By all means, this is the not the only way the Lord has shown up in my life, it’s just one of the many few that I have yet to share of his continuous Grace. Life is Good! God is Good!
We are still faced with financial challenges and uncertainty for our future but our homage is to our Lord as it has proven that worry and fear get you nowhere. He will show us his will in his due time. We just have to trust in him and ask for peace throughout any storm we are weathering. He ALWAYS get us through.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.
I encourage anyone who is struggling in their life to write themselves a note, bury it away and bring it out one year later. Start trusting that the Lord has your concerns in his heart and he has amazing plans to carry you through to a place of peace and understanding so you can look back and say, “oh I get it and Thank you God”!