As a little girl, Christmas brought Santa, lots of shiny, new things and time spent with family.
As I grew older, my Christmas presents grew more mature, but it was always a season of celebration. Santa faded away, and the story of Jesus came alive each year, as I began to understand a Creator God Who loves us and sent a Savior.
I began to realize that I need a Savior seeing that my life can sometimes, most of the time, be a hot mess. I am sure that my parents sometimes couldn’t quite figure out what to do with their curly-haired, freckle faced, prone to giggles daughter. It is easy to see that I need a Savior.
Learning the entire story of Jesus through our church, my journey of faith began, finding that I only needed to believe.
Adulthood came and brought marriage and two kids, again changing Christmas.
But later, Christmas was to become a very dark time for me. It was Christmas 2005.
Two Christmas parties, a massive stroke, days in the ICU, more days in the hospital, even more days in a transitional center, and finally, months later, home with life very different for my mom and dad. Love was personified for nearly twelve years, as my mom cared for my dependent dad. Then, my dad left us, finally to be free from the body that trapped him for his final years.
Christmas lost its joy, bringing painful memories of white lights making a huge Christmas tree on the outside of Jackson General Hospital.
A Savior is born…
“Save me, God. Bring back the joy of Christmas.”
And slowly, He did.
He is still healing me as He reminds me each Christmas that the theme of Christmas is peace. Jesus is peace.
Sometimes I need God to hold me, like my daddy did when I was little.
Sometimes I need to cry, cleansing my soul of pain.
God wipes those tears away.
Sometimes I just feel angry and bitter. God is a big God. He can take my honesty, helping me see Christ when He prayed in a garden “Not my will, but yours.”
God’s ways are not ours, and He can be trusted.
So, come Christmas. Remind me of a baby, a King and a cross. Remind me that the season is about peace. For that I am grateful.
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27