beloved

When Grief Meets Joy

joy

Rosa Zoghbi is a young woman whose heart has been captivated by the love of Jesus. She has boldly stepped out in faith over and over again as Jesus has called her to follow Him. She is single by choice and will not settle for less than what God has for her in any area of her life.  She is strong, honest, and vulnerable. You will be blessed by her heart as she shares her heart with you today.                                                                -Pastor Cindy Grasso

When I was a little girl Christmas time was my favorite time of the year. I was born in Venezuela and part of a big family where all of my cousins were really more like brothers and sisters to me. This was very special to me because I am an only child.

During the holidays, my family gathers together and makes hundreds of tamales.  Each family would have dinner at their own house and then gather together on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. We would all gather at my grandfather’s house to share presents, sing carols, just being joyful, with nothing to worry about except for enjoying each other all night until after midnight (because you know, all little kids really wanna do is go home and open presents).

The next morning, joy would spread like the wind through the neighborhood.  Neighbors would come out and greet each other, kids would show what presents they got and the family would meet up again to continue the celebration.

As the years have gone by, things have started to crumble in my country. As the economy got worse so did safety. Chaos has taken over, forcing Venezuelans to go all over the world seeking new opportunities to sustain themselves and their families, hoping for a better future. Now what used to be a time of joy has become a time of grief.  Christmas is a very emotional time for me not only because I am far from the ones I love but because I know it is a time where most Venezuelan moms are longing to be with their children. For so many, instead of being there, Christmas is now the time where we get to call our families with a happy voice and broken hearts.

I know many people still get to experience this season with family, like I did as a little girl and even as a young adult.  It is a  great time of celebration where we get to remember the birth of Jesus, the One who gave it all for us. He is the One who loves us without measure and even though the exact date is not recorded, the whole world celebrates Christmas on December 25th as if it was.

As a Venezuelan, I relate to the pain of my people, especially during the holidays.  I also acknowledge that for many people there is something else they grieve or someone else they miss during this special time. If that is you, please give yourself permission to grieve.  Open your heart to God, because He knows your pain. A part of being His Beloved child is that you don’t have to pretend with Him. Let Him hug you. Release to Him everything that makes you sad, let Him heal you and comfort you.

Taking the time to grieve with God during this season gives Jesus room to shower you with His joy, His peace, His kindness, His goodness, His faithfulness, and every good gift from above.

Holding on to the pain will not make it easier.

Release it into the hands of Jesus who sets you free.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.                              

Romans 15:13

by Rosa Zoghbi

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