Throwback Thursday: Painful Christmas Reminders


By Carolyn Dale Newell

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalm 34:18 NKJV

You have already had the “Aha” moment if you are having an especially difficult Christmas. After the third ornament with its unbearable reminder of things I would rather forget, I asked my husband if we could buy some new ornaments to replace these. My desire was to trash them, but I will give them to a new home.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could do the same thing with the memories behind the pain? Toss them. Give them away. I would like to tell you that I am writing this from the prospective of a healed heart, but I’m not. Old wounds have been ripped open and new ones have been added.

I wish I had answers for both of us, but I know the One who does. Jesus has the answers to our hurting hearts. He can heal our brokenness. I have seen His grace before. Right now, I cannot see it because I am focusing on the incident. Staring at the stinger while trying to remove it. We need to focus on Jesus. We need to turn our backs on the bittersweet.

Here is how we will do it: we will pray for each other. Sisters, and brothers alike, joining our hearts in agreement that Jesus will console us. He will calm us. He will cure us.

If you are struggling through this not-so-happiest time of the year, for whatever reason, leave a comment. You don’t have to share your particular troubles. Just write, “Pray for me”. I will pray for you, and you pray for me. We will pray for each other.

Let’s commit to celebrate Christmas for the birth of our Savior and center our minds on Him. We will be stronger. We will be blessed. We will be healed!

Lord Jesus, we are a hurting mess. Please touch each one who reads this. Repair the heart that is broken. Remove the bitterness. We decorate to celebrate Your birth. Help each of us to do that – celebrate You. Enable us to put our minds on You, not the pain. Heal everyone who is hurting. Amen.


Read Luke 4:18-19.


Please leave a short comment so you can be prayed for. Thank you, and God bless!

Copyright 2016 Carolyn Dale Newell.




By Carolyn Dale Newell

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Luke 1:38 NKJV

In Mary’s private conversation with the angel, Gabriel, she learned she had been chosen as the virgin to bring the Messiah into the world. A huge honor with huge responsibilities.

Mary never questioned how this would turn her world upside-down. It would definitely put some road bumps in her relationship with Joseph, her fiancé. She did not beg God to insure Joseph’s commitment to her. How would she convince Joseph she had not been unfaithful? God handled Joseph without a word from Mary. She did not plead with God to make believers of her family who would probably think the worst of her. Then, there would be the local gossip. Mary faced turmoil in every direction.

Understanding all the implications associated with this great honor, Mary humbly accepted it and trusted God for the details.

Mary’s faith must have been strong. For some reason, I think all will run smoothly when God has a calling on your life.

Send your children to Christian school. Surely, God will provide the money. Call a person to sing. Surely, God will protect their voice. Call a woman to write devotional books. Surely, God will remove all complications.

It does not work that way. God never promised us easy, even when He calls us to a task. During the self-publishing process of my book, Incense Rising, I cried out to God asking Him why. Why did You call me to write when I cannot see to proofread? Why did You allow my book to be filled with thousands of computer formatting errors?

God never promised us an easy road, not even for Mary, the young lady who bore His Son. We cannot assume our lives will be trouble-free because we are following God’s direction. It is a nice thought, but it is not biblical. On the contrary, we can expect trouble. We may as well pencil it in for an appointment.

Oh, that we could all have the tender trust in God that Mary demonstrated. She was wise beyond her years, well versed in the Word of God, but she possessed a child-like faith. That is what we need, faith untainted by fear and doubt. Faith that says, “Let it be as You say, Lord. I trust You will handle the problems, because they will arise.”

Today, you may feel the pains of your calling. Perhaps, your heart is saddened by the unexpected turns of your journey. Friend, remember Jesus conquered it all at Calvary. He walks the difficult roads with you. He never leaves you, and He doesn’t forsake you (Heb. 13:5). He is there. We just need to hold on. Hold on to His nail scarred hand.

Heavenly Father, help me trust in You like Mary did, never questioning. Thank You for her example and help me not fear the hard journeys. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Read Luke 1:26-38.


Are you like Mary, or are you more like me? What obstacle faces you today? Commit it to prayer. If you care to share it, I would be honored to pray for you. Details are not necessary.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.