Dear Displaced Family on Christmas Eve,
Today is Christmas Eve and my heart breaks as I see your social media posts. Many of you have a home, but are considered homeless because you can’t live in that home. You are struggling to put celebrations together while living in camper trailers, hotel rooms, or cramped into areas of another person’s home. While you are thankful for these places, there is an added sadness because this Christmas doesn’t look like you would like it too. You are displaced and in an ‘in-between’ of life. Yes, you have a place to rest and shower, but it isn’t what you would choose if you felt you had a say so.
I woke up this morning and you were on my heart. I was praying for God to meet you in special ways, then I realized that Christmas started with a displaced family. There was no place for them in the hotel… in any hotel. While some people saw their mandatory trek as a potential family holiday, Mary was full term with her baby and knew her time to delver was near–but there was no place for them.
You may look at those around you who left a perfectly good home to celebrate in the place you have been forced to. You may see friends whose life is untouched and fully together this holiday. You may be wondering what God is doing and question Him and His goodness.
I’m sure Mary felt the same way. She KNEW an angel had told her that the baby was God’s own son. I can imagine her questioning God, “Why hasn’t a palace opened up for us, or even a simple room? The only place we can find is the stinky, smelly barn. Surely You want your son to be born in a better place than this? I WANT Your son to be born in a better place!”
Are you questioning God? Let His lesson of Christmas being birthed in a place where the family was displaced permeate your heart and mind. Share the story of how God provided for their needs as well as brought people to them that otherwise the family would never have met. Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus could have been distraught over their displacement and rejected the good that God brought to them, but they welcomed smelly shepherds to rejoice in their holiday. They welcomed Royal Wise-men and their gifts. They looked past their displacement and let God meet them in their displaced place.
God used their displacement to bring Him glory and to show the world what He wanted to do. I believe that He has a plan for your season of displacement. My prayer is that you not allow bitterness steal the provision and blessing God has stored up and planned for you and your precious family.
There may be stinky day laborers show up to celebrate with you… celebrate.
There may be wealthy people show up with provisions… celebrate with them and accept their gifts without guilt or shame.
There may be heavenly hosts show up… embrace the glory of it.
You have the opportunity to share a side of the Christmas story with your family that can help them embrace their displacement as a gift that connects them to God and Jesus and the very first Christmas ever.
In your displacement, I pray that you can be honest and let people know what you need.
Mary and Joseph communicated that they need a place to give birth to their baby and something they would have never thought of opened up to them… the stable. It wasn’t what they wanted, desired, or planned–but it met their needs.
In your displacement, I pray you have a heart to receive those God sends in to your life.
In their displacement, they accepted visitors of all kinds. Some came simply to celebrate, while others brought provision they needed. The accepted every person who showed up event though they didn’t have chairs for them to sit, food for them to eat, a toilet for them to go to the bathroom in, or water to wash their hands.
In your displacement, I pray God reveal to you your place in His greater plan during this season.
In their displacement, they may have questioned God, but they trusted Him and He used their displaced season to give birth to the savior that would rescue each and every one of us. This is proof that He uses our displaced seasons for great good in the eternal realm. Allow Him to reveal to you what He plans to use your season of displacement for.
I love you and am so sorry you are displaced, but I am trusting God to bring you everything thing you need to see Him in all details and trust Him though this season. Merry Christmas to each of you and if you are near me, I have extra food, please let me know and I’ll gladly bring it and share with you in your displaced place.
Dianne Thornton says
Such a lovely, heart-felt, heart-giving message.
So beautiful Tammy, and filled with so much hope for those in a hard place!
Laura Townsend says
Tammy, Thank you for writing this. You touched the heart of the displaced. Beautiful insight into the Nativity story. As one of the displaced, I can say that there are questions, not doubting God but just wondering what the plan is. As a person in flesh and blood, at times it is hard, as I struggle to look at things from God’s perspective. I trust that He is good and his plan for me is better than the plan I thought I had for me. Even if it doesn’t look like what I thought it would or what I thought I wanted, trusting Him is sweet. There is glory to be held in the displaced season. He brings unexpected gifts, if we will allow it. recognizing His presence is a gift. Emmanuel, God is with us! He is the gift in every season.