Today, with my daughter’s permission, I’d like to offer a Christmas thanksgiving.
Many of you know my dearly loved daughter: Briana.
The name “Briana” is a Celtic name that means “Strong” // “She ascends”
Well, Briana has lived up to the first part of that name (for sure). Beginning around age 16 she became “strong-willed” and rebelled. Instead of ascending she descended into a life of rebelling against her mother and me and more importantly God.
For over ten years we lost our daughter. All we could do was love her and pray for her (remember, you can’t “fix” anyone, only God can do that).
But thank God, God is stronger than even a Briana and never gave up on her. There were so many times the “football of life” could have bounced in the wrong way, but God spared her and protected her and slowly but surely wore her down with his love.
Long story short (the details don’t really matter), Sonja and I have our daughter back and she is living up to the second meaning of her name—she is ascending.
This is especially poignant and meaningful during the Christmas season. It means so much to know, Lord willing, that Briana and her family will be with us sometime during the Christmas season and I mean “really with us” in faith and fidelity to the greatest gift of all times: Jesus Christ (Immanuel).
- The ONE THING for today: All the king’s horses and all the king’s men may not be able to put Humpty Dumpty back together again; but God can. Whether it is you or someone you love, don’t give up, God’s love, mercy and grace is stronger than the worst sin and the deepest sorrow. It may not be this Christmas, but keep believing; prodigals do come home and broken lives/relationships can be put back together again.
Zechariah 9:12 (NKJV)
Return to the stronghold,
You prisoners of hope.
Even today I declare
That I will restore double to you.