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Are Life’s Debbie Downers Suffocating You?

this-guy-feels-your-pain

I feel as though it’s even worse than that lately. “Debbie Downer” (whether it’s a person or circumstance) just doesn’t cover it. Since the presidential election, negativity in the environment has shot to another level—like Debbie guzzled a seventy-two-ounce Red Bull made by the Grinch himself.

Christmas can be such an exciting and cheerful time. But for some it can be the opposite, reflecting on a difficult/unsuccessful year, missing loved-ones lost, reliving family drama yet again, and/or experiencing local/global tragedies. Especially this year for some reason. Americans seem to be hurting on another level (hurting within and hurting each other), regardless of the reason.

We need positivity. We need healing. We need help. But is anyone listening?

 

Is There Still Good Out There?

My friend and I walked into the garden nursery with hesitancy. I needed a bouquet of flowers but didn’t have a great deal of time to make that happen. A Kroger would have been perfect, having pre-made arrangements and a self-checkout that called my name. But the only option in sight on good old Google Maps was a nursery. It was worth a peek.

We quickly scanned the shop floor, looking for an attendant able to assess our needs quickly. No luck. But just when we turned on our heels to make-a-break for the next grocery store, a woman popped out from the back room.

“Can I help you?”

“Hi. We were hoping to buy a small bouquet of flowers?” I replied.

“Sure. I’ll jump in the cooler here and you point through the window to the flowers you’d like to include.”

A few minutes later, a beautiful, personalized bouquet emerged.

“That’s gorgeous, thank you so much!”

“May I ask who this is for?” the woman asked as she tied the blue bow and began ringing up our purchase.

“We’re visiting a girl who just gave birth to a baby boy in the hospital down the street. Hoping this will make her smile.”

“Aw, that’s very sweet. Do you think you’ll get to hold the baby?”

“I sure hope so … since he’ll be coming home with me,” I said with a big smile. “My husband and I are adopting him.”

The florist froze, looking directly into my eyes as tears formed in hers. She swooped around the desk, wrapped me in an embrace, and then did the same to my friend.

As I slide my credit card over the counter, it was quickly steered back.

“Nope.  No charge,” she managed to utter as she waved her hands across her chest. “It’s on me. Congratulations,” she whispered, tears still flooding her eyes and ours.

That room was overflowing with joy. Kindness. Gratitude. Love.

… and to think we almost went to Kroger.

The world is full of nice people. If you can’t find one, be one. Nishan Panwar

 

And There’s More Where That Came From

I have at least a dozen of these stories, just within the last few months. Stories that make your heart swell uncontrollably. Stories that assure us:  There is still so much good out there.

Yes, we have a lot of negativity showering us these days, and as our world moves forward, our children and grandchildren will no doubt have even more. But:

~While some struggle with a lack of money during the holiday season, we have families donating their time, money, and food to share the blessings that have been given to them.

~While there are men and women living on the streets during this frigid season, there are also those that pick-up these individuals and check them into a hotel room, sheltering them from the cold—even for just a night.

~While we have natural disasters destroying homes and hearts, we have teams hurrying to meet their medical and construction needs—not to mention their need for hope.

~While there are people being bullied and discriminated against, there are many people defending these individuals and fighting for them to be heard.

~While we have children being abused and neglected, we have gracious foster families welcoming said children under their roofs, believing that love conquers all pain and abuse.

~While we have loved ones that may not be with us this holiday season, there are blessings of new life and love to celebrate.

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That last one is a hard for me to remember. About a month ago, my mom passed away, extremely suddenly. It’s one of those moments that immediately drop you to the floor, fetal position, screaming, “Why!” … knowing no answer will come.

As much as it pains me to accept this, sometimes life is taken from us. But then sometimes, wonderful life blesses our lives as well:  children, pets, friends, new loves. Our newly adopted son Jayden is an example of this—he of course doesn’t replace my mom, but I feel her within his smiles, reminding me that I’ve been given a joy through him that is beyond measure.

God blesses us with these “new” souls, helping shoulder the pain, while also loving us through it. He blesses us with each other, because where there is struggle/loss/fear/pain, there can again be greatness:  joy within the birth of something new, hope to encourage us onward, and above all, the love and graciousness we bestow upon each other—love demonstrated by our Father.

God is love. Therefore love. Without distinction, without calculation, without procrastination, love.  ~ Henry Drummond

 

We Are Not Forgotten

The distress life sometimes brings can be brutal. But we are not forgotten in any of our struggles. We are uplifted in a multitude of ways, fueled by our Father’s love. God’s gracious love inspires goodness. Trumps all negativity. Defeats all scars.

*             *             *

So no matter what negativity is clogging your ears and vision these days, and no matter what obstacle you may be experiencing, please hold on. Believe me … help is on the way.

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)

 

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Photo credit: lasjuly via Foter.com / CC BY