As I sit here in the glow of my Christmas tree, in my quiet, cozy home as Christmas Eve has slowly clicked over to Christmas Day, I am reminiscent of Christmases past. While none of my adult Christmases have ever looked the same, what with the changing of life seasons, new babies, the Air Force moving us from place to place throughout the years, long separations, new cities, new homes, and the cultural merger of Christmases from both mine and Michael’s childhoods, I would not be honest, if I didn’t tell you that this Christmas is so starkly different from anything I have ever held in my imagination or memory.
It has been a holiday season I won’t soon forget, and unfortunately that isn’t because of the magical memories we made or new traditions we tried out as a family.
This year has been incredibly difficult and full of unexpected journeys. I have shared much of that with you, but at times, things are just too big to put into words. So, those words never get “spoken.” I guess it’s easy to tell you about physical ailments, maladies, and side effects of this life saving treatment I’m receiving. But, it would be dishonest of me to tell you that things are always good. Well, things are good and I truly do believe God’s will is what’s best, no matter what, but things aren’t always good physically, mentally, etc. Does that make sense?
I struggle with all the things you’d imagine someone in my situation would struggle with, plus a whole string of things that would never even cross your mind unless you’ve experienced something akin to this. No, I’m not faced with the imminence of death or anything so drastic as that, but no matter what, even if I am healed and my body is put back together, I will forever carry breast cancer (the journey) with me. It has changed me. Some of the ways it has changed me are nearly indefinable, and some of the ways are glaringly obvious to us, but changed me, it has.
Truthfully, it has been very difficult to feel any sort of Christmas spirit or anticipation. In reality, I know, deep inside my soul that Jesus is my Savior, and I don’t really need a special holiday to remind me of that. But, there’s something so refreshing about collectively marveling in the awe of what our triune God did for us.
We don’t do it perfectly, but we do spend a good deal of time in our family working to point our thoughts and actions back to our desperate need for Him. But isn’t there something so special about a season being set aside when all believers are focusing on the same aspect of their salvation? Yes, it looks different for everyone, in every part of the world, but think about that for a moment – the multitudes of people worshiping a magnificent God who came to this earth in the form of a wee babe, born into a nation with a hostile government and a ruler that hated God, destined to life a difficult life, and in the end would die for sins He didn’t even commit… “Jesus submitted himself to this. He gave up everything.” [Pastor John Jones (my pastor)]. He did that for us.
FOR ME. FOR YOU.
I pray that my life is always a testimony to and reflective of Him. But, oh how I am still very much a sinner in need of grace.