Playing the Hand You Are Dealt

f you follow this blog, you probably did not want the divorce that was thrust upon you. In most states your agreement was not required. One spouse can simply request a divorce and the other spouse is required to go along with it.

Lawyer’s fees being what they are, it is often difficult to wage legal battles for what you believe should happen. Far too often people are divorced, not only without consent, but also on the other spouse’s terms.

I was thinking about this yesterday as we celebrated Resurrection Sunday with family and friends. After divorce, holidays always present their own particular challenges. Our daughter only gets her boys for half of the yearly holidays, and so yesterday we were blessed to have the grandchildren with us.

Holidays also bring up so many memories of past times and past celebrations. Sometimes the contrast can be heartbreaking, but yesterday was a special time of making new memories.

As they were growing up, we told our children that in life you can’t always choose the cards you are dealt, but you can opt to play your hand well. Yesterday our hearts were filled with joy as we watched our daughter play her hand well.

We knew it was not easy. It is never easy when suddenly you are the only parent there. It is never easy when you carry full responsibility for all the preparation and carrying out of a holiday celebration. The work is one thing. The emotional wear and tear is another.

Yet, there she was, greeting guests with joy and excitement. She had cleaned, and cooked, and filled dozens of plastic eggs with treats as well as organized a treasure hunt. As I watched her, I saw life and energy I had not seen for a while. I knew the pain she has faced and the decisions she has had to make, and yet yesterday she walked in the peace and joy that comes with total surrender to the Lord.

I know she would be embarrassed to have me talk about her this way, but it has been such a blessing to see her play well the hand she was dealt. Through the years I have met hundreds, if not thousands, of people who are standing for the healing of their marriage. I have watched the transformation of their lives as they walked with the Lord, learning to trust Him fully. I have often thought how very much their spouses are missing!

And I have also thought that whether that spouse every returns or not, the lives of those who are standing have been changed for all eternity. I am watching that transformation take place in our daughter’s life now.

Be encouraged today! There are those who are watching you as well and, as you surrender more and more to Jesus, they are seeing Him transform your heart and life. Standing is not about getting another human being to do what we want. It is about letting God do what He wants. And He always gives us a winning hand! Love, Marilyn

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

The Holidays

It has been quite a while since I have written. You are consistently on my heart and in my prayers, but this last year has been a bit overwhelming for me with aging parents and increasing responsibility. I promise to be more in touch this coming year.

You have been especially on my heart during this holiday season. I know how difficult the holidays can be when you are standing and I want to encourage you to help make this time a blessing.

If we focus on Jesus, truly the One that this time should be about, it helps to overcome the other circumstances that crowd in.

There are many things we cannot control at times like this, but no one nor anything can rob us of the peace that Jesus brings. That is why it is called the “peace that passes understanding.” Things of this earth can come and go. Pressures can increase and decrease. Pain and loss can grow and diminish, but Jesus is constant, never changing. His love never shrinks back and His presence is always there.

You are facing many challenges, some more painful than others, right now. It is time to draw even closer to Him. His life on this earth was filled with rejection and challenges. His birth occurred in a stable because his parents were turned away from a cleaner, safer place. That didn’t stop Him. His own family mocked His call and had little faith in what He came to do. That didn’t stop Him. He was betrayed by a kiss, an act of love. That didn’t stop Him. He was tortured and crucified surrounded by unbelievers who scorned Him. That didn’t stop Him. He was buried in a tomb with guards posted to keep Him there. That didn’t stop Him.

He rose again, triumphing over all, and in that resurrection gave His overcoming power to all of us! Whatever you face this Christmas, don’t let it stop you! Jesus rules and reigns in your heart. His unstoppable vision and purpose are strong within you. You have chosen to stand for covenant, to stand for righteousness and He stands with you. Scripture tells us if He be for us, who can be against us! In the midst of the turmoil, the commercial hustle and bustle, the challenges of family relationships, and the pain that inevitably tries to overwhelm, stand strong in His peace and love.

The enemy can only bring things against you from the outside. Inwardly you live in Christ. Let that inward peace and joy overcome the outward attacks. Keep your eyes on Jesus and trust your heart to His care. Let Him wrap you in His arms and carry you through this time. Love, Marilyn

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 15:13