Ask anyone. I am obsessed with Christmas! This all began as a child, because I was born on Christmas Eve (Thanks Mom!). I usually start listening to holly, jolly music mid October. And my countdown begins well into the 100’s, regarding how many days left. This year was different. My “Christmas spirit” was missing. I guess it is just difficult to get into the mood with so many bigger, important things going on. I didn’t even want to decorate our new house or put out my 50+ Santa Clause collection. Jonathan was definitely concerned. He knew he married a Christmas nut, but this year I kind of just wanted the fun fluffy stuff that went with Christmas to just disappear. I shopped because I had to, silently wishing gift cards were appropriate enough for immediate family members. I just did not feel like celebrating. With so much emotion mixed fueled by anxiety going on, how could I celebrate? In the days leading up to my Birthday I am usually jumping out of my skin with excitement, but this year it wasn’t about me.
Coming home was probably the most therapeutic thing I could have done, but like I said it was different than before. I spent a lot of time sitting and just reflecting on our past months and how much it has changed me. This year has been so pivotal in developing me as an adult, especially as a Christian adult. Actually stopping to think about the Christmas story has been very helpful for me as well. Knowing that God gave his only son to be sent to this Earth to save us from our sins was such a selfless act. It has gotten me thinking that God knows what it feels like to lose a child, and his Son was given to us with a purpose, just like all the little angels that have passed on before their parents.
Christmas Eve was particularly rough for me. I got the message that my friend Katie’s little girl, Hallie, had passed away early Christmas Eve and I completely fell apart, along with the rest of my family. My heart was broken and I was absolutely sick to my stomach. I cried as I asked my Mom, why God lets this happen, why he would bless someone as good as Katie with a child, and then allow her to be taken away. She explained that sometimes we never know why these things happen even though we may spend an eternity trying to figure it out. But she also reminded me of the picture that the book “Heaven is For Real” painted for us, all the children are seated closest to God and his angels are cradling the tiniest ones. The whole situation just made the fear for what could happen to Dalton so real for my family. Yes, we are hopeful for our situation but as expected the fear is still there, and will be until we actually know the extent of his health conditions.
That night in church, I was just not able to get it together. Just feeling the power of God’s love throughout the church was way too overwhelming for me. The pastor spoke of why God chooses circumstances for certain people, even though they may not be the ones we would have chosen for ourselves. Because he can. Talk about hitting a little too close to home! And of course the grand finale at every Christmas Eve service is always the candlelight singing of “Silent Night”. Listening to the last line “Sleep in heavenly peace” was what I was praying for Hallie in that exact moment. Overcome with emotion, Jonathan and I just fell into each others arms, sobbing as we were surrounded by our family and prayed over for our little boys healing. Needless to say, my Birthday had definitely changed focus this year.
Christmas morning was spent lounging and opening gifts. In the past Jonathan and I have spoiled each other with the latest trends and fashions. Not this year. He got me a beautiful small cross necklace to wear with my “D” charm and I got him an engraved leather Bible. Such small gestures, but ones that moved us both to tears knowing that this year our hearts have been changed.
Reflecting back on Christmas Day, it was exactly what it should have been. Family and friends remembering what the meaning of Christmas is. I no longer felt bad for not having our house look like Rockefeller Center, or shopping last minute for small gifts for our families. I got the Christmas blessing I wanted. All I desired was to be with my family and to be able to collectively glorify God through our time together.