Tag Archives: Christians

Throwback Thursday: Painful Christmas Reminders

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.

DIG DEEPER

Read Luke 4:18-19.

HIKING THE TRAIL

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

Copyright 2016 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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Guide Dog Tales Vol. 22

 

GUIDE DOG TALES VOL. 22

By Carolyn Dale Newell

You know that feeling you get when your face is about to meet the ground? Thankfully, I regained my balance quickly. Whose bright idea was it to plant trees in the middle of a sidewalk? Even sighted people trip over these sections where underground roots push up the concrete.

A guide dog doesn’t view small lifts like this as a step. We have walked through there countless times, but this would be the last time. Not the last time we walk it, but the last time it may cause me to fall.

I used my clicker and treats to teach Iva to stop at this point. We practiced several times before heading on with our leisurely walk around our little downtown. I try to provide Iva with a variety of routes.

We rested on a bench taking a water break. As I stood up, I told Iva our plan was to go to the Mexican restaurant for lunch with my husband. When we reached the corner, Iva did not go to the curb as usual, instead, she turned right, the direction of our destination. I was shocked because we have only walked there once before.

As we strolled along, Iva came to an abrupt stop, and she went no farther. Something partially blocked the sidewalk, but why wouldn’t she go around it? I reached out and discovered a piece of fence wire across our path. Undoubtedly, this was a construction site. We were forced to find a new route, and it included crossing a busy intersection without a traffic light.

Our patience rewarded us with a lull in traffic, allowing us to rush to the other side. Iva began pulling hard, not because she has a fondness for Mexican cuisine. Iva remembered the dog treat she devoured from the Amish Cupboard, next to the Mexican restaurant. When I instructed Iva to turn left, she momentarily hesitated as if to say, “No, this way, Mom! Remember we went this way before.”

After lunch, Iva chomped down her well-deserved bone.

We had safely encountered our first obstacle as a guide dog team. Knowing we can handle them is rewarding.

Life is filled with obstacles, Not the physical ones, but the difficult ones, like: diseases, addiction, depression, grief, finances, and heartache. We come face-to-face with them, giving us cause for despair.

We take the obstruction to God, but many times, He refuses to move it. Sometimes, God protects us using a blockade. If I had moved that fencing to get around it, we would have been hurt.

Christians forget God has our best interest in mind. Sometimes, a roadblock may be our safety net. We should rejoice in these detours of life, giving God thanks for being our shield.

Next, we allow God to guide us. Iva and I found a new route to the restaurant. This path was not easy because it involved a difficult crossing. We did it, and we will do it on our journey of life.

Perhaps you find yourself standing before a barricade today. Friend, our heavenly Father has a plan for you, and it may differ from your plan. Father knows best, so follow His lead. You may journey unchartered territory. Navigation may be difficult, but God is right by your side. He never leaves His children. He shows us the way, and we walk in it.

Lift up your chin. This side trip has benefits, although you may never know what God protects you from. Now you clinch the rewarding knowledge that obstacles don’t stop you. They just turn you around.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.