by Michelle Welch
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV84)
There are those of us with sadness in our past that struggle through certain aspects of Christmas. Broken families, lost traditions, thoughts of happier times run rampant through our minds. We smile on the outside while great wracking sobs heave inside our hearts. We want what we thought were happier times. We want to go back to the time of innocent happiness. Back to when we had nothing more to worry about than what we wanted for Christmas.
As sweetheart and I clean up, clean out, and downsize, I am finally getting rid of twenty-four years worth of children’s school work, report cards, artwork, and “who knows why I kept it” sort of things. Once I found a receipt for a store that isn’t even in business anymore from when my oldest daughter was five. Really? What on earth was I thinking? She’s thirty. It’s time to let go. I came upon my diary from when I was young. Weathered edges, the key long lost, the lock broken by a sibling I am sure, the diary sits as a silent reminder of days when my whole world revolved around something as simple as a pony.
For as long as I can remember, I have loved horses. Not just the whimsical, cute stage that most girls go through where they love My Pretty Ponies or collect Breyer horses. I mean a soul deep love that overshadowed everything else in my life at times. Any horse. Anywhere. I wanted to touch it, ride it, stand next to it. Just the smell of a horse made my heart leap with joy. Standing in front of them, feeling their breath on my face, inhaling that deep, earthy scent of their outward breath was something that transported me out of the sadness of my younger years.
Imagine my joy when I got up the Christmas I was eight (I know, who gets a pony when they are eight) and there was a pony. Not just any pony but MY pony. A little tiny Shetland named Sugarfoot. For a short while there was nothing but happiness in my little world. I can’t remember anything else about that Christmas except that pony. Actually I can’t remember much about any Christmas except the year I got that pony.
Why this pony story? I don’t know honestly. My Abba put it on my mind. I cried gulping tears this morning over it. Forty-three years later. He showed me some scriptures and talked to me during our quiet time. He held me and loved me and healed my heart once again. Why is it we hold on to hurts? Why do they seem to surface at Christmas time? For me, I think that pony represented something tangible that I could hold onto in a time of great turmoil. She was my friend. My angel sent from God for just the moments when I needed her most. Perhaps the memory of that time is to show me that there are so many people who just need a friend during this “happy” time of year. So many who just need you to walk along, listening, not judging, not talking. So many who just need an afternoon of peace. Are there those in my life who need a pony for Christmas? Can I see past the smile, the wrapping, the gifts, the parties to the true need of that person who Abba places on my heart today? Can I hear what is truly in their hearts, read the “diary” of their thoughts, find the real gift that would mean the world to them?
Dearest Father God, please help us to know who needs You during this holiday season. We know that we aren’t the only ones that hurt. Give us your wisdom as we move through our day. Remind us that gifts are not the reason for this time of year. Remind us that we need to love everyone, even the unlovable. In the name of Christ our Savior, Amen
Copyright © 2012, Michelle Welch, all rights reserved, Breath of Life Women’s Ministries. Bible scripture taken from New International Version 84.