As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
With the feedback I received from my last post, I am assuming many of my readers can identify with the title of today’s post. This time of year can be so hard on so many people, trauma survivors for sure. When you are knee deep in trauma and grief, feeling joy is often hard, if even possible. It is very easy, after long periods of trauma laden days, to have the ability to push forward without feeling. We learn how to get stuff done because life goes on, trauma or not. The carousel doesn’t stop just because your world is shattered. For us Christians, adding in the heaping mound of guilt we often feel if we are struggling to find joy at Christmas and it is just hard. So. Very. Hard.
My last post poured out of me so easily despite that not being my life anymore. I can remember those trauma filled holidays but this year, that just isn’t my life. Over the weekend I went to the mall (with the man I am dating no less) and was not triggered once, something that would have seemed impossible to me a few years ago. The entire day Sunday was shopping, followed by a movie that for some reason decided Amazon women Warriors needed skimpy costumes but I was just irritated, not triggered at all. My PTSD symptoms are rarely a thing anymore, I love my job and my ministry, my old pup is still around despite his critical diagnosis and I am dating a genuinely, authentic man who thinks I am awesome. I have so very much to be grateful for, I really do. So the last post of crying and having trauma responses resonated with the memories in my heart but not my current situation.
With a full-time job, clients to coach, a website to maintain, a presentation to prepare, lessons for the group of betrayed spouses I am leading to post, a litter of rescue kittens I am fostering, being a single Mom to two teenagers struggling still from my ex-husband’s abandonment and oh yeah… Christmas dinner for almost 20 people to prep for, my life is overflowing with a to-do list. I find myself so very “distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.”
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[f]Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
My Martha heart covered up my real heart, which is more aligned with Mary’s heart, as told in Luke. I have been grateful in some pretty deep valleys so this took me back and made me pause. As my reality hits me today as to the real issue, I cannot help but hit my knees. Lord, I believe, PLEASE help my unbelief. It isn’t my long list of things to do that is the problem. It is my ungrateful heart. The trauma years are behind me now and life looks so different. How dare I forget just where I have come from. I am blessed to have such a full life, so to allow that to stress me out to the point of becoming Martha, worrying about the details and forgetting what really matters. I forgot who I was for a hot minute. Are you there too?
Christmas is days away. I have all I need. All six of my children will be here and my twin Grand-daughters-to-be will be here, snuggled together in their Mama’s belly. The 5 Grandchildren God led into my world for me to “adopt” will be here with their parents. I have all I need. I may not be wealthy but I am so very rich, in all that matters. My Christ found me, trapped in a pit and He saved me. ME. He saw me in the pit; in my sin, shame and nightmare of a fake life and he saved me. I have all I need. Do you?
If your heart is more focused on your to-do list, let me encourage you to stop for a moment and just BE. If you are blessed enough to have snow, go play in it for a few minutes. If you live near the ocean, please go listen to the brakewaters dancing (and think of me because that is one of my favorite sounds). Blast your favorite Christmas Carol and dance in the kitchen. If you have children to snuggle, make some hot chocolate and read them a Christmas story or convince a 3 year old you bought him an elephant for Christmas and listen as he plays with that concept like it’s so very real. If you are in a relationship or married, sit on the couch wth the lights off and just the glow of the tree and just breathe each other in for a minute. If you have an animal, sit in it’s favorite space with it for a minute and let it love on you. Do whatever can bring you joy, if only for a moment. When that joy comes, relish in it because life is hard but just for a moment, peace will find you.