Learning to Celebrate
“The slight turn of seasons reminds me of last fall, and it strikes me that my life has changed almost beyond recognition since then. In the process of breaking my heart, life or God or something — not that I don’t believe God moves in these ways, I just don’t want to immediately blame Him for a crime He didn’t commit — also delivered me to the life I’ve been wanting. And I can spend all my soul and all my words on the pain of what happened to me, or I can take this glimmering gift and run.
But the only person who decided my life had turned to dust was me. The only person who is still deeply troubled about what I’ve lost, even in the face of what I’ve gained, is me. I would never have wanted it that way, but something bright and beautiful has given to me, and I ‘m in grave danger of losing it, squandering it, becoming a person who cannot find the goodness that’s right in front of her because of the sadness she choses to let obscure it.
Now we’re talking about celebration. Celebration when you think you’re calling the shots? Easy. Celebration when your plan is working? Anyone can do that.
But when you realize the story of your life could be told a thousand different ways, you could tell it over and over as a tragedy, but you choose to call it epic, that’s when you start to learn what celebration is.
When what you see in front of you is so far outside of what you dreamed of, but you have the belief, the boldness, the courage to call it beautiful instead of calling it wrong, that’s celebration.” —Cold Tangerines, Shauna Niequist
This passage quite aptly depicts exactly what God has done in my heart over the last four years. Sometimes, when life feels and uncertain and horrible and like the sky will never be blue again, it’s easy to mope around languishing about how our life isn’t turning out how we planned. I’ve seen so many downtrodden people lately, and I want to say, “wake up! You are wasting your life.” Whether this holiday season brings death or heartbreak or another flurry of holiday parties single — can I challenge you with something?
God does not owe us anything, yet He has given us everything. Everything doesn’t look like a neat bow around our problems and families and hearts; everything looks like eternal life face to face with the Jesus who sacrificed all to be with us. Everything looks like a reason to celebrate every single day.
We can choose courage to call our lives beautiful and rejoice in the Hope that does not disappoint. Will you celebrate with me?
P.S. Cold Tangerines is my new favorite book. It would make a great Christmas gift for anyone on your list;)
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