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Sunday, December 22, 2013


Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced.

Disappointment. . .failure. . .humiliation. All three of those emotions visit me, during the ups and downs of Christmas and on into the crushing deadness of January, "cold within and without." (One of my favorite opening lines, from Bolt by Dick Francis)

Disappointed . . .because no matter how much I tell myself that I can't expect anything for Christmas, because my remaining family, Jaran's family, celebrates Hanukkah instead, my heart wants more. Disappointed when the few things within my control go wrong.

Failed. . .when my plans fall through, for buying and giving presents, for sending cards, for going to church or having my daily quiet time or any of a dozen projects.

Humiliated? When my family comes and I'm in bed, undressed. When I wait too long or can't get away and soil myself. . .

All of those are true but none of my reasons comes close to what Joseph must have felt when he learned his betrothed was pregnant. With someone else's child.

In the kind of quiet and strong goodness Joseph exhibits over and over, he doesn't go public with his pain. He doesn't seek to judge Mary. He does decide to end the betrothal. And when God tells him to marry her, in spite of the pregnancy, he doesn't hesitate. In spite of all the public humiliation which would come their way. In spite of the gossip which was bound to peg him as the baby's father.

Joseph. Chagrined I understand. Noble I strive for.

I wrote this several days ago. When I read it again today, I realized how close it hit me to the mark. I feel as though I have fought a battle. Feeling very "chagrined." God can and will heal my heart and restore my spirits.


Kameko said...

Sending prayers, dear friend, that you will feel God's blessings in every possible way. Wishing at this moment that I still lived in OKC so I could see you, especially at this time of the year.

Dana Wilkerson Spille said...

God is using you to reach others never forget that .You are a testimony for others . God uses times in the wilderness to help us to grow in our faith and prepare for the work to which we have all been called.Bu Never forget that it’s during those wilderness times that we grow the most as we are prepared for the work that God wants us to perform.Praying for you !! Blessings ,DanaGirl

kbailey said...

(((((((((((((Darlene))))))))))))))))) I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and that God shows you some great blessings from His hand!