Why I'm Thankful This Year


So this year there is a fresh excitement surging through the Holden house.

We are excited about Christmas!

And I don't mean just a little excited. I mean we are over the top, counting the days until we can put up the tree, buying Christmas pajamas in October, chomping at the bit for the leaves to come down so we can decorate outside, over the top overjoyed about the holidays.

And I have to tell you This. Is. A. MIracle.

Seriously. This is a new feeling.

You see, over the past 20 years (yes, I said 20 years) Christmas has been a challenge. (To,say the least)! When we were growing up, my mom loved Christmas and always made it a fun, happy time. However, a little over 20 years ago when my Dad started having his flashbacks to his past and became outwardly abusive, everything changed. Christmas was one of his worst triggers and the holidays became a time of fear and dread—of battling whether to celebrate and deal with his responses or just not celebrate at all.

After years and years of this nonsense, my Mom went to be with Jesus and our fear and dread was overwhelmed by grief. Even though we forced ourselves to do some Christmas things, every effort was shaded by sadness.

Even though each passing year brought a little less pain and a little more freedom, Christmas has always presented more challenges than excitement. We had a lot of healing to do and a lot of fears to overcome. Even though each year brought us closer in that direction. It wasn't until last year that Jamie and I really experienced a peaceful, enjoyable, relaxing holiday. It was wonderful and it went a long way to solidifying our healing.

And now this year is a completely different story. We are completely over-the-top excited about Christmas.

The fear is gone. Even the grief has been replaced with the knowledge that our Mom is celebrating with Jesus and would want us to celebrate, too.

We have found healing and couldn't be more thankful.

It almost feels like the holidays have been reborn for us as we're trying things we haven't done in years and rediscovering a season that was stolen from us by our dad's poor choices.

But this year isn't a year to dwell on what happened…it's a year to celebrate what's ahead.

And are we ready to celebrate!!! Seriously, when can we get started!!!

As we celebrate, I'm going to invite you along on the journey. Throughout the season we’re going to post some photos and videos demonstrating out testimony and the healing power of Jesus Yes, it may seem silly to some to be so excited. Others may think, “We do this every year, what's the big deal?”

But that's okay, because here's the big deal.

We serve a God Who heals.

We serve a God Who is in the restoration business.

This is my testimony—-as the song says “Things that we thought were dead are breathing new life again,”

There is no freedom like the freedom experienced by those who were bound.

There is no song like those who have been released from the depths of despair.

This is our story and we celebrate this year as a display that no matter the pain, no matter the heartache, God can heal you.

There is hope and we are living, breathing displays of this.

That is what I'm most thankful for this year as we head into Thanksgiving.

--I'm thankful that over 2000 years ago Christ died on the cross and rose again so that we could experience salvation, healing, deliverance, freedom, and restoration.

--I'm thankful that God is still working in the lives of His children today.

--I'm thankful that the Bible provides principles for healing that if followed, allow any person to experience healing and deliverance in their lives

--I'm thankful for a mom who taught us those principles and lived them daily in front of us.

--I'm thankful for every friend and mentor who challenged, cajoled, and at times downright demanded that we keep taking steps toward healing and force ourselves to move forward on the journey to healing despite the fear and pain.

--And I'm thankful for healing.

--For restoration.

--For a fresh excitement for Christmas that I didn't even think would be possible years ago.

Why are we sharing this?

Because testimonies are meant to be shared. They are meant to bring hope to the hurting and provide motivation to those on their own journey to healing to keep going forward.

Healing is possible

Restoration will happen

Joy can be rediscovered and life can be celebrated again

That isn't the miracle of Christmas—-it's the miracle of Life with Jesus. It's available to all, year round, for the asking.

That is what we celebrate!

To Read More About Our Journey to Healing, read Finding Healing.

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