When the Most Wonderful Time of the Year Feels Forced

most wonderful time of the year

Over the past few days, maybe week, I have forgotten how to laugh. It’s most certainly “the most wonderful time of the year,” but it felt forced in my mind. Hanging ornaments was a chore. Dragging out the boxes seemed like one more thing. Looking and reviewing the Christmas list felt like a stressful budget meeting, and (Jesus take the wheel) I don’t do well at those.


The other morning I woke up, and as I lay curled up in my white bedsheets and sleepy down comforter, these lyrics bathed my tired brain:


God, I give you what I can today.

These scattered ashes that are hid away.

I lay them all at your feet.


I didn’t know the rest of the Lauren Daigle song, but I let those words sing over me. My eyes stayed closed, my husband kept his arms around my tired body and I let my brain repeat:


God, I give you what I can today.

Scattered ashes that I’ve most certainly hid away.

I lay them at your feet.


I eventually uncurled my body, slipped on my slippers, grabbed my water and made my way downstairs. I said hello to my goldendoodle and thought she must know it is the most wonderful time of the year because her tail is wagging in all directions.


I smiled.


My eyes began to wake up even more.


After a cup of coffee and creamer (a good three-second pour because I like to live on the wild side), I finally made it to my big red chair. And the words poured over me,


Lay them at your feet. All of them. Give them away.

Broken crumbs. My body broken for you. Broken. For You.


I picked up my phone and found the song. As I let myself listen to it in its entirety, I realized why the most wonderful time of the year had felt forced. It is not because I am making light of my circumstance. I am most certainly looking into some earthly hurdles and would love to see some mountains moved. But the scattered ashes that I hid away were only burning me up slowly. I was carrying them deep in my veins and, without knowing it, they had been coursing throughout my body, making joy seem difficult.


What lengths He has gone to be broken for me. His scattered ashes, broken for me. What a rescue.


(How I needed to be rescued).


As I lay my head back on my big red chair, I took a few deep breaths. My Rescuer was broken for me, so I can come to Him and be broken. I can reach into my veins and let all that toxic weight pour out at His throne. He will just keep covering white over it because, when He looks at me (and you), all He sees is grace and white linens and mercy and…all of a sudden things begin to feel a bit




This is the most wonderful time of the year because we were given a way to lay everything at His feet. God took His very precious Son and wrapped all this human flesh over Him and gave Him veins coursing with blood and sent Him to rescue us.


And Jesus came only to be broken, so we could in turn be broken before Him. Because it’s in the breaking we can be carried again. And maybe the most wonderful time of the year comes in Him carrying us when the broken things (lights and budgets and the unrealistic expectations) shoot pain through our bodies.


So when you pray, individually or with your group, don’t be afraid to be broken. Open up your veins and let all that toxic come out. Lay your head back on your chair and take a few deep breaths. He is your Rescuer. Give Him what you can today.

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