I discovered Natasha Metzler quite by accident. Or providence, if you prefer. Someone had linked this incredible post of hers on Pinterest, and I became an immediate follower. I am so grateful that Natasha is willing to add her voice to our Advent series. I know you’ll be blessed by what she’s written here.
Sparkles of snow swirled on the windowpane as I stared into the darkness. “Oh, Lord,” I whispered, “how do I face this holiday with grace, when everything in me is crying?”
It was the truth that scraped me raw. Infertility doesn’t mix well with celebrations. Especially celebrations that focus so much on children. The children my body refused to bear. I could still feel like sinking feeling that had come when the doctor first confirmed my fears. Dreams of a family faded like the sun set, inch by inch, until darkness won.
But that day as I whispered my prayer, God’s voice rushed over me. I knew it was Him. I knew it was the greater Truth that overshadows everything else. “Rejoice in every tiny taste of beauty,” He said. “Acknowledge Me and I will direct your paths.”
It didn’t come naturally. I had to fight for it. Crying my way through hanging up Christmas ornaments, mourning the children that were not there to share the memories, and then taking a deep breath and speaking into the stillness, “God, I thank you for the beauty of twinkle lights.” Silly, to be sure. Nothing profound or glorious. But yet, even in the ordinariness, He was there.
I was struck with the realization of the many times I stood and raged at God, asking where He was, what He was doing, why couldn’t He just give me some kind of direction? And the entire time He was standing, with arms open, waiting for me to simply acknowledge Him. In the book of Proverbs, chapter 3 verses 5 & 6, we are told, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.”
In the Hebrew (3045) of “acknowledge” is the word “Yada” which also means, “to recognize, to admit, to confess, to know, to make known”. It carries the connotation of observation, care, and recognition.
And so, with just a broken whisper about the beauty of the lights on my Christmas tree, I began a journey into the knowledge of God. He was faithful, dear friends, to show Himself to me. In my recognition of beauty and the confession of thanksgiving, I found that His presence became more and more obvious. His grace was filling me up.
This year, as the holidays buzz through, I encourage you to take a few deep breaths and drink in His presence. Even if all you can find are small tastes of beauty, because the loss and heartache fill so much of life, practice acknowledging Him in that. And I promise, you’ll find more of Him than you ever dreamed.
He is here. Really and truly. He is here.
Natasha lives and writes from a farm in Northern New York. She is the author of Pain Redeemed: when our deepest sorrows meet God which tells the story of her walk through infertility and loss. You can find her blogging at natashametzler.com or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Thank you so much for joining us in this Advent series.