It is early Sunday morning. I believe the rain has ended, but it is still too dark to tell. I enjoy writing on these quiet mornings when the only thing swirling around me are words trying to find their way onto paper.

Long before my deadlines, I start to contemplate what my subject should be for the week. Some stories evolve because of an event in the news or holidays. Some just pop into my little noggin and off I go. This week, however, I was reminded of a phrase I use often, but have never elaborated on the words.

I emailed a friend earlier in the week to ask about his ailing toddler grandson. This little guy has endured a few struggles since he was born and is now in a pediatric ICU unit. All think he will be fine, but there is also the troubling fine line of not knowing for sure.

We have all experienced walking that razor thin line of uncertainty. The times when we struggle to hang on, the times when the difficulty of living seems to outweigh life’s joy. Let’s face it, sometimes surviving requires more courage than we believe we can muster.

It is those times when we need to USE our faith. That is my “go to phrase” when all else seems impossible. We can say we have faith, and believe in God, but there are days when we must absolutely use what we know to be true.

We can study the Bible and worship on Sunday. We can give thanks, ask for mercy, and celebrate the joy and miracle of the Lord’s birth every Christmas. However, sometimes when we find ourselves feeling hopeless, we need to be reminded that the reason Christ was born was to bring hope. He wanted us to use his words, use the lessons he taught, and use prayer to sustain us through those difficult journeys we endure in life. The little bundle of joy born under angel’s wings on a night long ago came into to the world to bring pure love. And, it is that love that gives us courage.

In my life, I know if I had not rested my head on the Lord’s strong shoulder a zillion times, I would not have made it to tomorrow. It was those days when I threw my hands up and gave it all to God that became the days my faith soared, and peace enveloped my soul.

We don't live in paradise. We live in a world where sickness, death, loneliness, and evil also reside. We cannot control all things in life, but the one thing we can use during the extremely challenging days of living is faith.

There will be many folks who will be watching over a child in an ICU unit this Christmas. Many people will be lonely and ailing. Many others will celebrate the holidays without someone who was by their side last Christmas, and they will all struggle to find anything joyous about the season. It is a fact that Christmas can make those depressed even more so.

However, faith is the only thing I know that can ease the sorrow. A belief that the Lord can heal us with time. Trust that he knows what we are going through and will hold us in our darkest hours because his love is as alive today as he was 2018 years ago.

When I was a little girl, we lived on a farm for a while. Out our back door beyond the fence lived a herd of cattle. I remember believing that Christ was born every Christmas Eve. I could hardly sleep with all the excitement of Santa coming and would hop out of bed, press my nose against the cold window pane and look toward the sky above where the cattle slept.

I would not only look for a sleigh but would study the stars above the pasture to see if I could find one pointing to where the baby Jesus lay. I would search for the brightest star and when I found it, I knew Christmas had arrived and all would be well.

I still have that faith today. I know I will experience more heartache in life. I know I will, again, endure walking the fine line of uncertainty many times and will stumble.

There will be mornings I will wake up to darkness and storms. However, I also know to use my faith to find the light of day and when the evening falls, look for the brightest star and know all will be well.