Finding Joy in Him

Through Every Season

Christmas Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

Praying that you are in good health and good cheer. We are very excited to have a new college graduate in our home this week, even though he has several more years of school left before he has his masters and possibly doctorate. 🙂  We are very proud of Joshua.  It’s been a long hard road.

It’s been a hard year for us.. missing Joel.. pushing through the heartbreak.. searching for and choosing to trust God in the middle of it all. And I know that it’s been a hard year for many of my friends and family who are going though their own hardships this year.  You are in my heart and prayers.  I love you dearly.


I came across a poem I wrote a couple of days before the sentencing of the young man who murdered our Joel while praying about what to write this year and felt a tug on my heart to share it with you:

Come
Tuesday April 9, 2013

My old friend, the Morning, now stings with
Reality that I so long to see erased.

Lord, Jesus, come.
Be my Sun.

Tuesday, only Tuesday, how the days drag on.
When will I see your face?

Lord, Jesus, come.
Be my Sun.

Tears and more tears; sorrow clouds Joy.
But is not It’s undoing; only hate.

Lord, Jesus, come.
Be my Sun.

Lord, Jesus, you alone are my hope, my joy, my song,
The Morning, that I so long to see dawn.

Lord, Jesus, come.
Be my Sun.

Only Your loving kindness can make my heart,
my soul, my mind new.  Come.

Lord, Jesus, come.
Be my Sun.

Come with Your peace.
Come flood me with Your joy.

Come let Love begin It’s healing work
On the ache from deep with in.  Come.

Lord, Jesus, come.
Be my Sun.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how glad I am that it’s not our place to judge or as Mike said, “or to even ‘fix’ people.” Our ONLY job is to LOVE them. Mike and I were thankful for the roles the justice system, the judge and the district attorney played in our case. We didn’t want the responsibly of judging or deciding the sentence. None of that would have brought Joel back. Our only roles were to love and to offer the forgiveness that Jesus extended to us and we were thankful for the grace God gave us to enable us to do just that.

I’ve also been thinking about the way Jesus loved us.. by entering into our world.. into our suffering and SUFFERING with us. It’s that kind of love that keeps me going each day. Seeing Jesus strip off his glory, put on humanity and submit himself to suffer and die for me.. it.. woos me. It’s a whole new kinda of glorious. It’s a beautiful, crazy kind of love with abandon like none else.

He didn’t judge us or fix us first.. He SO loved us.. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

I read a devotion last week about Jesus’ bold love for Zacchaeus.  He was a scoundrel, a liar and a thief. Not only that, he was one of the ringleaders. Jesus never even mentioned any of those things to him. He led with, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today” (Luke 19).  He called him by NAME and invited HIMSELF in.

The crowd was horrified,

“All the people saw this and began to mutter, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.’”

But look at the results!

“But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

“Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house… for the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’”

Jesus’ bold, uncondemning love rocked Zacchaeus’ world. All the years of hatred and scorn from his peers did nothing for Zacchaeus. Jesus’ seeking and loving and climbing onto His own tree did it all. That’s the kind of love.. the seeking.. saving.. glory shedding.. mind-blowing.. sacrificial kind of love.. that heals us and makes us whole.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

That’s what I am in training for. I am broken. I miss up a lot. But I am learning to see Jesus looking at me not with disapproval, but with the kind of love that rocked Zacchaeus’ world. And I am learning to see the way He looks at the broken, hurting people around me.

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17

We need saving. We need His love. We need the Healer of the Brokenhearted to come and make us whole.  He is our only hope. We can not fix things.. especially ourselves. All we can do is trust and wait and obey in the waiting.

Isaiah 30:18-21 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Much love and prayers..
and wishing you a Merry Christmas.

The Colemans

1 Comment

  1. Love this…love you

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