In the US, it's the Christmas holiday season. Most of us are able to enjoy this time of year without hesitation or reservation. Many are living at the height of our careers thus far - making more money, enjoying more success and job security and personal stability than ever before. Most, many, but not all.
A few dear friends and family members are dealing with crises of varying proportion this holiday season.
Frank's Dad is recovering from a stroke. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, bro.
Andrew Duthie's wife gave birth to their son eight weeks early. The latest update on this is great news! Congratulations Duthies!
My friend since high school (it's been a while) and best man at my and Christy's wedding is now working a few hours a day after discovering - when he began having uncontrollable seizures on 28 Sep 2006 - he had a brain tumor. It was successfully removed in early October.
My brother Jason is unemployed after several years with a large discount retailer - right here at Christmas.
Why mention the troubled and formerly troubled all together like this? Because I believe those going through difficulty need to know others have trod the path before them and come out of the valley stronger.
There are no guarantees in life - of this I'm certain. Bad things sometime happen to good people.
But the simple fact that others have been there before you can give you hope - and hope is a powerful thing! I know, because I've experienced it.
Not too many years ago I was going through a stressful holiday season. As I stared out the back windows of a little house in the middle of a field - looking at the bare, leafless limbs of the distant forest - I thought/prayed (and maybe even said out loud) "Will it ever be Spring?" The bleakness of the woods matched what I felt inside that day.
God answers prayer. And he answered that one. Spring came to the woods, and returned to my soul as well.
If you're hurting this holiday season, I encourage you to talk to someone, email someone, let somebody know. But if you are religious or so inclined, I encourage you to pray. Those who know me personally know I'm: a) no role model; and b) respectful of other's beliefs. I don't want to get all preachy and I'm not trying to push my religion on you - any more than I try to push SQL Server, SSIS, and TFS experiences and best practices on you.
Some of the folks listed above can already tell you, like me, God answers prayer. And others listed above will be able to tell you that in the future.
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