This Christmas has been one of the most challenging ever! I had been overwhelmed for so many reasons. We had challenges at home, in the family, at work and church.
The decorations were down but never got put up. I did manage to get the tree and stockings up. Finally, on December 23, I did get a tablecloth for my table. Nothing else, not even a wreath on the door. Frustration and disappointment were taking over.
Online shopping has never been very appealing to me because what if I don’t like what I got or it doesn’t fit? But I was running out of time and had to use whatever means necessary to at least have a gift for everyone. This worked well until my last box went missing, giving me yet another frustration.
I was tired and discouraged, thinking Christmas would prove to be nothing special this year! I pretty much had tried to do things on my own, succumbing to secular pressure and ignoring the true meaning of the season.
The youth group in our church had planned a dinner and performance of “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The timing of this for me couldn’t have been better. I had been feeling like Charlie Brown I guess. As the message of the play was shared, God began to get a hold of me. Tears began streaming down my face as I realized that I was missing the most important message of the season this year.
It’s amazing how worldly stresses such as work, home and even church can take away from such a beautiful message: Christ, my savior, being born to save the world.
As I began to try and refocus and realize what was most important, God began to put things in order. This proved to be one of the sweetest and best Christmases ever.
Christmas was on Sunday! The day of worship! And it was great. I had my kids with me in our service and we spent the entire day together.
My grown kids have done a great job of spoiling me as they have entered into careers of their own. They treat me so well and I’m so thankful for them.
My husband pulled off a Christmas miracle of sorts. I had heard about a gift he was working on for a month. Every time we sat down, he was taunting me about this gift, even asking me what I thought it might be. Honestly, I had no idea! Well, when he gave me my gift and I opened it, there were no words to describe how I felt. He had managed to retrieve pictures of my brother and I that I thought I would never, ever see again. Baby pictures of the two of us that are so precious. It was the most meaningful gift I could have received.
As the day ended with me in awe, I began doing what I seem to do in these situations, contemplating the spiritual lesson in what just happened and watching God’s word and work come to life.
I received a gift that I thought was impossible to acquire. A gift that is so dear to me. Something that money can’t buy. A tangible reminder of my little brother who I lost way too early.
I am reminded of the very first Christmas. There was a gift that was given to all mankind. A gift that some thought was impossible to acquire, after all, how could a virgin give birth? A gift that is free! A gift that is life changing. A gift that is everlasting. A gift that is the most precious among gifts. Jesus!
I am so very thankful for the Christmas that I had this year. The memories I have will be cherished forever. But more importantly, I am reminded of God’s forever gift, the gift of Jesus. I am so thankful for His faithfulness, even when I tried to function without Him.