Move Me Closer

by | Dec 16, 2015 | Christin's Blog Posts

Years ago, I attended an annual breakfast for sixty or seventy Christian women in ministry. We were each invited to take turns sharing a few highlights from the previous year…

As I sat there watching and waiting for my turn, I had no idea what to say. I’d arrived feeling like Job, sitting in the ashes – miserable and in pain. I was really regretting signing up for this thing.

I thought about being a drama queen, and “just telling it like it is.” But I knew better. I knew there were other women in the room who had experienced suffering – some far worse than mine. And complaining wouldn’t make me feel better. It wouldn’t make them feel better. What was the point, anyway?

Well, the point of the exercise wasn’t only to help us get caught up on each others’ lives, but to give God glory, by celebrating what He had done in us and through us and our ministries.

I wanted to give God glory – truly. So what could I thank Him for? I tried to think of something. As it got closer and closer to my time, I realized I’d actually come up with quite a few things. A pretty long list of blessings.

It didn’t negate the pain or the heartache. It didn’t relieve my suffering. But it gave me a fresh perspective. It shone a light in the darkness. It shattered the lie that misery and hopelessness was all there was. Or is.

So I began by quoting Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” I think I’ve used those words to describe every year since.

Move Me Closer When You Need A Better View Blog Post By Christin Ditchfield

The powerful truth I learned that day has stuck with me. There is always some pain and misery, heartache and suffering in my life – and in the lives of those I love – and in the world around us. Always.

There is always some joy and laughter, some blessing… many blessings! Many things for which we can give thanks.

So whether we describe it as the “best of times” or the “worst of times” depends on what we choose to focus on – where we fix our eyes.

Morning Light Christmas Verse Christin Ditchfield

If you were to ask me this year –me, personally — I’d put my partial knee replacement in the worst column. My recovery hasn’t gone well.

I haven’t been able to keep up with blogging and social media (which I see as extensions of my writing and speaking ministry) like I wanted to…

I’ve really struggled to be obedient in some areas where God has clearly shown me what to do – I keep getting distracted, and doing other things instead.

But I’m really grateful for the sweet fellowship with friends like you, online and in real life, and for my family, too.

My 66th book – What Women Should Know About Letting It Go – came out in April, and it’s been cause to celebrate!

I’m learning all the time, how to keep practicing what I preach; I’ve recently identified a whole bunch of things I can “let go” that will help me be more focused and obedient to God’s calling.

This week I was offered a contract for my 67th book – which will be released in spring of 2017 – if I can get it to my publishers twelve weeks after Christmas!!!

That means I still won’t be here on that regular schedule I was really hoping to get back to… at least for now. But I promise I will stop by when I can. Thanks for being patient with me!

Until then, let me leave you with one of my all-time favorite Christmas prayers – my heart this holiday season, and maybe yours as well. It’s all about our focus, in the important moments…

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Move Me Closer ~ A Shepherd’s Prayer

Twas the night before Christmas, and my only desire
Was peace among kids and to rest by the fire.
I’d just settled down in my favorite chair,
When I heard a small voice and a cry of despair.

As I stared at the hearth, I saw a strange sight:
Our nativity scene in the flickering light
Seemed almost alive! And how could this be –
One lonely shepherd was calling to me.

Move me closer, move me closer,
Move me closer to the Child.
Let me see Him, let me hold His hand,
Move me closer to the Child.

As you can well imagine, I was a bit surprised!
So with a shake of the head and a rub of the eyes,
I took another look and what did I see?
Without a doubt, he was looking at me.

It seems in the hustle and bustle of things,
The wrapping of gifts and the building of swings,
In assembling his scene, I’d been a bit hurried,
And understandably so, he was a little bit worried.

Move me closer, move me closer,
Move me closer to the Child.
Let me see Him, let me hold His hand,
Move me closer to the Child.

You see, candy canes and holly trim
Didn’t mean a thing to him,
If they kept him from his post
Beside the Child he loved the most.

So as strange I know as it must seem – whether it was or wasn’t a dream –
I placed him back where he belonged,
As he sang again his simple song.
And now when we at Christmas share,
We sing his song – “A Shepherd’s Prayer.”

Move me closer, move me closer,
Move me closer to the Child.
Let me see Him, let me hold His hand,
Move me closer to the Child.


[I first heard the recording by Evie Tornquist Karlsson on Christmas Memories. I’ve been trying for years to identify the author(s). It may have been written by Christian songwriters Jon and LouAnne Mohr. I’ve sent a FB message to LouAnne hoping to confirm it.]