In the joy and beauty of this season, we can sometimes forget that this season can be a real struggle for others (or perhaps for you this year). Infertility, death of a loved one, financial poverty, loneliness-- these painful realities can make it so difficult to celebrate when our world places such emphasis on parties and gifts and laughter.
Just this week, my heart has been impacted by three strong women and the suffering of their families at Christmas this year. In each of their stories, I see a reflection of the strongest woman I know--Mary, the Mother of God. She knows the difficulties surrounding Christmas, she who traveled to Bethlehem and gave birth to our Savior in a stable...and years later, knelt before the cross of her suffering Son, trusting without fully understanding God's plan.
Would you join me in praying for these women and their families?
For E., my dear friend being treated for a brain tumor this year. An MRI in January diagnosing it, a repeat scan in July after surgery only to find a new tumor had grown, and now in December a follow-up MRI after non-surgical treatment. This woman is one of the most hopeful, joyful women I know, with a trust in God that lights up her eyes even as she walks this road. We pray for good test results, and for her strength and hope in the midst of her treatment.
For B.'s family. Years ago, B. and her husband adopted two precious little girls. Having overcome cancer when they were young, it then returned in the past couple years. B. passed away a year ago this month, leaving her godly husband and two beautiful teenage daughters. I saw them at the cemetery at church yesterday, remembering the anniversary of her death and praying. I couldn't help but cry for their loss as I drove past praying for them. May God comfort her husband and her daughters as they grieve, and guide and bless them with renewed hope and joy in the future.
For L. and her son. Little J.T. is an adorable two-year-old who won a pro-life photo contest for Down Syndrome children. At a routine doctor visit less than a month ago, they discovered he has leukemia. He was admitted the same day and is receiving chemotherapy. We visited L. and little J.T. at the children's hospital last weekend, where they are staying until the first round of treatment is finished. J.T.'s siblings are praying he will be home for Christmas. We pray for healing and strength, endurance and trust for their family.
Thank you for lifting up these strong women and their families to the Lord. Know that if you are reading this and you are also struggling this holiday season, I am praying for you, too.