It was back in October when the trees released their leaves, and the fall breeze blew them around the curve and up into our front garden. Everyday a few more collected until the piles nearly blocked the front door.
Little by little we cleared them away, and Fall gave way to colder temperatures and stronger winds.
And then the snow came.
Little by little it gathered on the lawns, a new layer each day and although the calendar wasn’t ready for it to be official, Winter seemed determined to arrive.
Each time I watched the leaves settle in the yard, or gazed at snowflakes adorning the trees, I have heard the words:
Little by little.
They best describe these last sixteen weeks and so much more. Each treatment has made me a little more tired, a little more ill. Words that used to spill on to my keyboard in an hour now take days, and sometimes just don’t make it there at all. Things slowed down, tasks have became difficult. I was… undone, unravelled.
Little by little I have had to let things go.
I lifted all the ragged threads to the God of the universe, and we have had many conversations about this time and place and this undoing. And every time He reminds me that He has not left, and I know His goodness. I am so thankful for our good God!
And then it was time to begin Advent, and it began with a reminder early one morning . The son of God came here little by little, nine months he spent being woven together in a womb. And the story of the blood and birth, and the holy, messy, life-giving arrival, had me undone again for all the love that was so lavishly poured out on our brokenness. And somewhere in the middle of the Hope, Peace and Joy I realized:
While I have been unravelling, He has been weaving.
Little by little.
He has been adding to my frayed, tattered threads…His life. Nail scarred hands that began as tiny infant fingers, have been taking up threads of His strength, Hope, Power, and Love and weaving them into new fabric. It’s still messy and hard but there is truth, comfort and freedom in the weaving. There are strands of Joy that I never thought possible… unspeakable joy.
We may be undone, but not overcome, because of Emmanuel…God with us. Always.
And if this is a chapter in my story, I’m guessing it might be for you too? And maybe it’s not illness that unravels and undoes you, but life has lots of other ways of tangling threads and fraying the ends. And this is the truth of Christmas and the final footsteps into a stable… Love came.
We are loved so wide and deep and unconditionally. Love takes us in all our undoing, frayed,and unravelled and begins to untwist and re- weave. He sets us free. And sometimes it looks like little by little and maybe a bright red thread of unspeakable joy in the middle of the grey. Whatever He does is beautiful and good. He will not leave. That tiny heart that beat in a manger full of straw… it beats still for us. Loving us, longing for us to be all we were created to be!
I am finished my Chemotherapy treatments (how fast did that 16 weeks fly by?) And now I have a month break before a surgery that is scheduled on January 21st. Thank you more than I have words to express for your prayers and thoughts and kind words.
I pray for all of you, a Christmas filled with hope, peace and most importantly… knowing how much you are loved!