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Christmas Tree

+++++ religious triggers +++++

I don’t remember my first 24 Christmases. One reason is because I sat around the Christmas tree w/my abuser each year. Another reason is because I was viciously abused on Christmas Eve when I was 7.

I have always been somewhere between indifferent to Christmas to downright hostile towards it. However, the one Christmas song that I really like is O Holy Night.

I wanted to share some of the inspirations I get from this song so that you, too, can find some solace in this wonderful song.

Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.

For my entire life, I have laid buried under the aftermath of my abusers’ sin, and I have been pining for relief from the shame. It was through God that my spirit finally felt its worth. Before this, my spirit had felt completely worthless. What a great feeling — to finally feel that my soul has some worth!!

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

I had grown so weary under the burden of my past and shame — shame that wasn’t mine to bear but nevertheless burdened my shoulders. But I now feel a thrill of hope because a new and glorious morning is breaking. There is light at the end of this tunnel of healing. The darkness will yield to the glorious light of freedom from my lifetime of bondage. I am already seeing the first signs of the approaching dawn.

The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.

Jesus was born to be our friend in the midst of our trials. He was there when I was being hurt, grieving mightily that such evil could be inflicted upon an innocent child. And as my heart and spirit fragmented into a thousand pieces and bled in places that nobody could see, He was the one binding it up, trying so hard to stop the bleeding.

He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,

God knows what we need. He knows exactly how we were broken, so He knows exactly what needs fixing. He knows where our weak spots are, and he knows how to reinforce them. Only He truly knows the gravity of what we endured because He endured it alongside of us. Only He truly knows how badly our souls bleed.

And he doesn’t hold our weaknesses against us. He doesn’t judge us for them. He wants to deliver us from our weaknesses and stop the internal bleeding.

Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.

God has the power to break the chains that bind us. He will stop the oppression in our lives — the oppression of the past that never seems to go away. Through God, we can truly break free from the chains that bind us and no longer live an oppressed life.

This hymn is very personal to me. It is my proclamation that I will survive this Christmas and I will thrive. A new day is dawning, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!!

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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