Monday, December 24, 2012


There is a heaviness that has been sitting on my heart this week. It is a physical weight that makes it a little difficult to breathe, slows my steps, and makes me want to climb into bed for a month. We have been so busy trying to get back into the routine of life and school and sleep schedules, I hardly noticed it at first.  But with each passing day, each day closer to Christmas, it becomes heavier.... tugging, threatening to pull me down, down, down...

I hate that Christian isn't here with us to see the "missmus wights" or to help pick out a color for his room... that he's not here to fight over who gets to wear the Santa hat and pass out gifts... I don't even know if he would be like Noah and prefer chocolate ice cream or vanilla like Austin prefers... Would he be reading fiction books like Austin or nonfiction like Noah or simply prefer no books at all?

I want to scream but I'm too tired. Perhaps weary is the better word...

I sit down at the piano to plunk out a few Christmas songs. As I flip through the hymn book, the pages open to two songs.

The Cross Is Not Greater

"The cross that He gave me may be heavy,
But it ne'er outweighs His grace;
The storm that I feared may surround me,
But it ne'er excludes His face.

The thorns in my path are not sharper
Than composed His crown for me;
The cup that I drink not more bitter
Than He drank in Gethsemane.

The light of His love shineth brighter,
As it falls on paths of woe;
The toil of my work groweth lighter,
As I stoop to raise the low.

His will I have joy in fulfilling,
As I'm walking in His sight;
My all to the blood I am bringing,
It alone can keep me right.

The cross is not greater than His grace,
The storm cannot hide His blessed face;
I am satisfied to know
That with Jesus here below,
I can conquer every foe."

-Ballington Booth

I struggle at times with that last stanza: "I am satisfied to know, That with Jesus here below, I can conquer every foe."  

I do believe that through Christ, we can conquer anything (Philippians 4:13).  It is the satisfied part that wavers from time to time.  

When I am rested and in His Word and "strong", I think "Yes, I can do this. I can run this race and be happy and joyful and content. I know I will see Christian again! Life is good! God is good!"

When I am tired and stressed and too busy with the things of this world to be consistent in prayer and reading God's Word, that is when my burden is TOO HEAVY to bear.  When holidays and special occasions mark the passing of time, the happy memories of Christmas long ago come rushing back, the sweet mixing with the bitter... and I cry...

How much longer must we wait, Lord, for your return?!

The words of the other song jump from the page.  This is a familiar song


The Christian's Good-Night

Sleep on, beloved, sleep, and take thy rest; 
Lay down thy head upon thy Savior's breast; 
We love thee well, but Jesus loves thee best--
Good-night! Good-night! Good-night!

Calm is thy slumber as an infant's sleep;
But thou shalt wake no more to toil and weep:
Thine is a perfect rest, secure and deep--
Good-night! Good-night! Good-night!

Until eternal glory lights the skies,
Until the dead in Jesus shall arise,
And He shall come, but not in lowly guise--
Good-night! Good-night! Good-night!

Only "Good-night", beloved-- not "Farewell!"
A little while, and all His saints shall dwell
In hallowed union indivisible--
Good-night! Good-night! Good-night!

Until we meet again before His throne,
Clothed in spotless robe He gives His own,
Until we know even as we are known--
Good-night! Good-night! Good-night!

I don't cry for Christian-- he is in that perfect rest and will never have to suffer the hurts of this world like we do. I cry for us. Christian's greatest gain was our greatest loss. It is in this loss that I give thanks for the promise and HOPE we gained when Jesus came in lowly guise all those years ago. Jesus Christ was born to us... He is the only reason we can say Good-night rather than Farewell!

As you prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, would you please take time to pray for the families that have said Good-night?  No matter how little or much time has passed, the missing and hurt is amplified during the holiday season. Your prayers make a tremendous difference in keeping together that which the devil seeks to destroy!

I choose joy.  Even in the hard moments.

To God be the glory.


Unknown said...

Oh Marsha. I cry for your loss. I am sorry you are hurting right now. May you feel Jesus hold you tight this Christmas season.

Erin said...

You have such a gift in writing and pointing people to Jesus through the worst even in your life.. I learn so much from you! And I'm feeling heavy too. :(

Beckypdj said...

Amen Marsha, said so perfectly.

KarenW said...

Marsha, thank you for sharing your heart. I'm praying for you and your family.

Just Juls said...

My heart hurts with you.

Thank you for always being real and sharing this hard stuff. It helps the rest of us know we're not alone when we struggle.

Gina said...

Marsha, you are such an inspirational and lovely person... I'm so thankful to have you as a friend. You inspire me to be a better Christian every time I read your messages. God sent you to help others with your amazing writing skill. Thank you for sharing your life and your positive and Godly outlook. You truly are an inspiration to me, and I wish you peace during the holidays. You deserve it! Big hugs to you and the boys!!

Andrea said...

Crying with you. So sorry for the heaviness and loss. Praying for peace and comfort, contentment and joy. And that you would find the time to get alone in the Word and be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Love you, friend. Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reminder that there are hurting people all around us. I'm praying for you, Marsha, and the parents of Sandy Hook. I'm praying for two families I know personally who have lost their mother (young children) and a friend who recently lost her brother and all those around me who have lost loved ones and parents who have lost children, no matter how long ago.

I'm also praying that when those moments arise that I could choose to be nit-picky and angry, I will instead choose joy and thankfulness.

Love you, friend. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Unknown said...

words I needed to hear today. Thank you.

Unknown said...

words I needed to hear today. Thank you.

Christine said...

I love you so much.

LilTanGurl said...

praying for your heart. love you Marshy!

Julie said...

Oh, Marsha. I can't even comprehend your hurt, but my heart is with you as well as my prayers. It is such a wonderful thing to know that Christian is with Jesus this Christmas - celebrating in perfect peace.

Praying for you and your family! Merry Christmas.

Love - Julie

Cindy said...

Praying for all those who have said good-night this Christmas season. Especially you.

Leanne said...



I know how you feel right now.

I AM praying!


Shannon Wallace said...

Dear Marsha,

I've thought of you and my other friends (and those involved in the CT tragedy) who have lost children. I've prayed for comforted hearts. The past couple of months, I've had zero motivation to encourage others nor blog. You've written what I feel/have felt for weeks now (not to take away from your hurt...I just so can's crazy how your words are so literally almost identical to my pain and feelings and thoughts).

Please email me your new address. I love you and your heart. It's okay to be sad. I will be praying especially for you. Let's chat soon whether it be on the phone or IM or email. Hugs from Texas...Shannon

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Karen said...

Thanks for posting this, Marsha. Yesterday was my Mom's funeral. She passed away on December 31st. Absent in the body, but present with the Lord. We don't cry for her, but for us, the ones who are left to carry on without her.