O Come, O Come, Immanuel

Life is filled with disappointments, often caused by unfilled expectations.  And, no matter how hard I try to rid myself of “expectations”, they keep hanging around like a noose around my neck. Expectations of others for ANY reason can only lead to heartache.  Trust me, I know.  

There are still times I want something so badly, perhaps something as minute as to be acknowledged as a fellow human being with real live emotions.  Ridiculous, isn’t it?

With the utmost vigilance, I must constantly guard my heart and remember that people and things may very well let me down when I place my hope and trust in them. 

Tending to believe the best from people, I, sometimes, blindly trust when they make promises or say they are going to do a certain thing.  Alas, promises are made and promises are broken, and I find myself struggling with disappointment, frustration, hurt, and anger.   

Letting go of these emotions is not easy.  A CHOICE has to be made.  I have to continue to work on me by reducing “my” expectations and extending FORGIVENESS, even in the absence of an apology.  Honestly, it is much easier said than done.

Forgiveness is THE only healthy choice.  

Human nature screams that I should harbor those feelings of anger or bitterness, maybe get even with the other person.  After all, when someone hurts you, you do want to see that individual suffer a little bit.  Sometimes, I feel that they deserve to feel what I am feeling.  However, in my heart of hearts, I know that forgiveness is my ONLY option.  

I relinquish any desire to get even.  I CHOOSE from the wellspring of my spirit to forgive.  My emotions may remain ragged and raw for a time, but I KNOW that ultimately they will gradually align themselves with my heart choice.  I fully realize that in the absence of God’s love, I will not find peace.  I find myself inwardly singing the Christmas song, “O Come, O Come Immanuel.” Papa, is my term of endearment for Father God, comes to me and is TRULY always with us. 

I often fail during this difficult process of forgiveness.  Sometimes, I take three steps forward and two steps back, but His infinite love beckons me to get up, brush myself off, and continue the journey. He gently reminds me that His grace abounds when I disappoint Him.  I, in return, offer that same grace to others.

Over two thousand years ago, God came to us in the form of a precious baby, born in a stable, to a virgin girl and a carpenter.  They called him Jesus.  God was with them that starry during the birth of His only Son.  Immanuel has been WITH US ever since.  He is, indeed, with us.

Every situation I face, every disappointment, every hopeless moment, every obstacle, every trial, every sickness, every death, every financial hardship, every estranged relationship, God is with ME. 

And, He is with YOU.

Born of a young girl, in a stable instead of a palace, denied by his friends, betrayed by a follower, crucified by the same crowd that had loved him days before, He has experienced EVERY disappointment and heartache.  Now, He walks with me.  He gently reminds me to offer grace and forgiveness, to love.  

Today, especially as the Christmas season approaches, I continue to sing the song in my heart, “O Come, O Come Immanuel,” believing God truly is with me, and through him, I can give MYSELF the gift of forgiveness.  I release those who have caused me ANY hurt or pain.  Papa is with me every step of the way.  He has already done what I cannot seem to consistently do, forgive.  He forgives through me.  I choose Him.  I choose forgiveness. 

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About the Author :

Teena is her name, but she has fallen in love with the nickname, “graciE” her husband gave her. God, who she refers to as Papa, is the focus of her life. Her heart yearns to draw closer to him, moment by moment, through Bible study, prayer, photography and writing.
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