Do you have room in the Inn?

"Born in a stable, cradled in a manger, He came forth from heaven to live on earth as mortal man and to establish the kingdom of God. His glorious gospel reshaped the thinking of the world. He lived for us, and he died for us. What can we, in return, give to him?" First Presidency Christmas Devotional 2013 | President Thomas S. Monson | Deseret News ... Click twice on pic to Read more of this beautiful devotional,

Can you imagine what the Innkeeper in Bethlehem might have felt like if he realized He gave the Son of God the stable for the night?  I mean, I understand where the guy was coming from, but he may have felt like a real heel if he ever realized what he’d done. All his rooms were full, and he was running a business. He probably didn’t realize Mary was going to have the child of The King of Kings in his stable. If he’d truly understood that his Savior, the Son of God, was going to be born in his barn…I wonder what he would have done differently.

Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Lately I feel like my resolve has been leaking out at an accelerated rate.  Every day I smile and laugh while hiding a large deal of pain. I don’t want to walk around moaning, grunting, and complaining every time I get sharp razor pain when I swallow, or my spine aches, or my knee shoots sharp pain, or my ankles pop back in place. No one wants to be around someone who does that. I don’t even want to be around myself doing that.

I only have one life on this grand planet, and I don’t want to spend it focused on myself and pain. I want strong friendships and family relationships. I want to travel and adventure, and soak up the joy of precious life moments. This places me 90% of the time, sucking it up, pushing it down, and grinning and bearing it. I ‘d rather it be that way.  I hurt 100% of the time, even when I’m smiling and laughing and telling a story. In my own mind, I’m often trying to shift my butt to comfort a cranky spine, or I’m being careful I don’t hurt myself being animated, or hiding that I’m internally wincing with every swallow.  I’m trying really hard not to let constant pain turn me into a short tempered, whiny, hermit. I want to have a good time. I want to push it down and override it with socialization for awhile. I want to dedicate as much of my brain and heart as I can to the problems, life experiences, and joys of the people I love. Those things keep me going. They are the life experiences that make it worth it for me not to give up in this very difficult physical situation. I hope it’s understood when I say I don’t think I can do something, or I can’t do something, that it’s very hard for me to admit that. I often physically, emotionally, and mentally max out. When I’m there about 10% of the time…it’s not a place I want to stay.

I had a meltdown on my husband 2 nights ago. The razor pain in my throat is present with every single swallow for the last 6 months. My spine surgeon say’s everything looks fine, but the ENT say’s the fusion hardware is compressing my esophagus by  50% and it’s grinding against my esophagus with every swallow. They aren’t on the same page and I’m trapped in limbo.  I’d been really active all day and my body was hurting like it does when I overdo it. I went to take my nerve medication and the pill got stuck yet again. There was a moment I felt like I might choke to death. I knew if I took a breath, it would go down the wrong way. It felt like my throat being slit from the inside. I desperately gulped water and it moved a bit. I could breathe now but it still felt like I’d swallowed a razor blade sideways.  It just wouldn’t move. I grabbed my throat and pushed it all to the left while gulping huge swallows of water. It finally popped past and went down, but by now I was sweating and my adrenaline had fired and I was completely fed up with this 6 month problem. I periodically wonder at what point I could choke to death on a bite of meat, or the hardware could just finish grinding it’s way through my esophagus. All the uncertainty from Doc appointments with no clear cut plan for relief, and never knowing if this awful problem will end…I just flipped out. I began to pray an incredibly frustrated and distressed prayer to God. “Why won’t you take this freaking problem away?! I HATE this! Please, why?! I can’t even sing! I suppose I’ll just be muted I guess. Please fix this!” It was an awful prayer you guys. It was irreverent and frustrated and full of sorrow. I’m ashamed even writing it. It was even worse in the moment. I prayed immediately after that, “I am so so sorry! Please don’t send a bolt of lightening to fry me.” I’m still ashamed and disgusted with myself.  I walked out of my closet to where my husband was laying on our bed, and I boiled over spilling out every awful worry and how upset I am.  I mentally broke. The body wide joint issues are awful enough, but this throat thing is sending me a half inch short of mental asylum. I carefully rolled down into our bed and I sobbed. He responded so sweetly. He rolled over and quietly held me. He told me it was probably healthy to let it out every once in awhile. To rub salt in the wound, crying makes my throat hurt so much worse. Exhaustion eventually set in and tears finally finished seeping out. I fell asleep still begging God to forgive me for tripping into a pothole of bitterness.

I was talking to my Dad the other night, and I mentioned my thoughts of the Innkeeper to him. He said, “Funny, that same situation rings through in each of our lives. It’s still the resounding question today. Do you have room for Jesus?” That hit me in a very deep way. This is so true. Do we give Jesus priority in the Inn of our heart, or do we give Him the stable? We either prioritize whether His place in our lives will be a fulfillment of the needs He asks of us, or if He’ll be turned out to the stable because what He asks of us is difficult and sometimes a huge inconvenience to our own will. I had to ask myself the other night. “Amy, do you still have room for Jesus in the Inn.” The answer is still, “Yes, I still want Him. I will make room in the Inn. I will give Him priority. I will take the stable for Him.”

I was listening to a song on KLove as we drove the other night.  It’s called “Multiplied” by Need to Breathe. Yes, I see the like between the group name and exactly what I was experiencing the other night. I think it’s no coincidence. As I listened it brought me to tears. All of a sudden I saw Jesus in my mind. He looked fierce. He had white fire in his eyes. He was saddling a brilliant white horse and light was bursting from Him. He mounted the horse and cracked a whip. The horse took off fast and purpose-full. He was riding like a fierce warrior. The vision in my mind brought tears to my eyes and filled my chest with amazing love and thankfulness. This life, the decision to keep going and aiming for righteousness…it’s my offering of love, stretching across the sky to my Savior. Jesus’s offering of His life, stretches across the sky for us. Someday He will come and cast the devil who causes such pain, into a pit and He will shackle him there. He will have fire in His eyes and He will avenge us against every fiery dart we ever suffered. Christ will fight all evil and He will gather His sheep to lead them home for all eternity. We will rest in painless peace, in the arms of a loving Father. I failed in my mental fight the other night, but it will not be the end of my fight. I’m not stopping here. I have a Savior who is good. He is the bright and morning star. He continues to light my way. This Christmas I celebrate that His love is immeasurable. I thank God for every blessing in my life that continues to make it worth it to smile and fight. I thank God for His tender mercy and forgiveness for me. I don’t deserve it. I know I’m not the only one fighting pain whether it’s physical, mental, or spiritual…it’s all the same. It’s a decision to continue fighting. Christ is still fighting for me, so I will fight for Him.

I pray you each have a Merry Christmas remembering why we celebrate in the first place. We celebrate the birth of a baby named Jesus, Immanuel God with us. The Lamb of God, our Savior. This Christmas, may we all prepare a room for Jesus in the Inn, and for every day to come. I love you each. Huge hugs.


8 thoughts on “Do you have room in the Inn?

  1. I hope you have a wonderful time with family and friends. I don’t think there’s a doubt that you will always have room in your Inn for Jesus.

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  2. I’m so sorry, Amy, because of what you suffer, every day. I suffer too, every day and isn’t the most awful thing about it is that you feel SO alone in it? It would be different if we were living with a fair number of other people who also suffer because then we wouldn’t have to feel so singled out? I mean there simply comes a time when we have to tell someone about our suffering, right? And then we feel bad about doing that. Oh, how I understand……..I thank you for being honest about it all…..I’m not sure why there is so much comfort when you realize that someone else understands what you’re going through, at least in part. That pain you have in your esophagus sounds just awful, to say the least! One thing I know is that God allows these types of things to cause us to draw nearer to Him. And I know that you know that. I take great comfort in verses like Psalm 91:4 etc. etc. I will be praying for you, based on this post. You can always tell me exactly what you are going through because I get it. I hope you don’t think it strange when here my eyes fill with tears and I simply must tell you that I love you…….I’m so glad our paths have crossed. Whatever would we do without Jesus? I’m glad that I can call you my “sister” in Christ. Please Lord, help us to focus on You every day in all our circumstances. May you have a blessed Christmas Amy………..

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    1. Thank you so much! It is immensely comforting to know we aren’t alone and someone else understands. I do feel guilty to admit how hard it is sometimes, but I think we do have to confide in each other. There is strength in being able to lift each other in prayer. Jesus know and understands, and that is an incredibly wonderful thing. I love you too. Thank you so much for your encouragement. I am thankful for you as well.

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  3. Thank you for sharing your deepest pains and joys! I can relate to a lot of your frustration. Amen Jesus is still fighting for us and our earthly sorrows will be more than worth the riches and glory set before us. I pray you will find relief from your throat pain and blessings for the new year!

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