CCM: Why do you think it’s important for us to relax into the lonelier sides of the season?
AG: It’s an exercise in welcoming your entire self. We are always simultaneously experiencing two things: the way we live, and who we are. The way we live is, well, just name the chatter in your head. Feeling inadequate, chaotic, rushed, broken, just busy. Forget anything negative, just think, busy, overwhelmed, keeping up, lots of measuring sticks. The activity in our heads is never trustworthy. It’s constantly critiquing you and everybody in your world. Even the chief of ISIS wakes up with the same head chatter because it’s human. But the reality of who we are, whether we know it or not, is loved by God. And that goes for everybody from the vilest offender to Mother Teresa. Everyone is loved by God.
It is no mystery that those two extremes exist in every one of us—the reality of how we live day in and day out and the certain reality of who we are. And we are love, love, love. So this is an exercise of bringing our minds and hearts together, and as our heads and our hearts get closer together the more we understand the reality of who we are.
I was in my fifties before I really found stillness, and could believe that God really loved me. I have felt loved by God, but something changes when you are middle-aged. When your body and everything you’re used to counting on starts breaking down, the better stuff starts to surface.
GIVE! | Check out the 2016 Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide
Thanks for the article about Amy Grant and for the reminder that Christmas can be both the most wonderful time of the year and can be some of the most challenging, as well. It’s a reminder that God is still in control no matter what we go through this or any time of the year.