The Journey Through the Christmas Seasons of My Life

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.

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Let The Joy of Christmas Return

This morning I got a message about a family whose 16 year old son died in the night. He had leukemia. Be still my heart.
It has brought on a flood of emotions, and as I sit in my church parking lot today, I am trying to dry up the tears.
For me, this is the week. The week my life changed forever. I don’t celebrate this anniversary but I am always reminded. I am attaching an old blog post for those of you who don’t know about the pain I am speaking of.
But I rejoice. I rejoice because right now I hurt. It feels as though my God is silent. But He is not.
My King came in the form of a manger. He went to a cross one where Mary watched her son die. So I am going out on a limb, but I say that before we can know great joy, we must know great pain.
The greater the pain, the greater the joy. The gratitude. The awe and wonder of how a Savior came for me.
And one day… oh yes, one day, He is coming back.
He is coming back for those who are His. That’s me.
If I am still here when He returns, he will look at the masses and say, “Let’s go!” But He will look at me and say, “Let’s go-ready to see your dad again??”
Now I am squalling. Thanks God for this image this morning. Tears are good.
So is waterproof mascara.:)

It’s Christmas-Time to Celebrate or Is It?

It’s December-can you believe it? This morning I have begun Christmas decorating. I turned on the Christmas music because it’s time to celebrate, but with the first song, I found myself crying. Not crying, squalling, big, ugly cry.”Why was I crying?”, you might ask. December 12, 2003, fifteen years ago this year, my mom and dad went to a Sunday School Christmas party. While there, my dad had a massive stroke. That year was a blur with days in the ICU followed by more days in transitional care only to be sent home that Spring with a whole new normal. My mom cared for my dad in their home for the next nearly twelve years until he passed away. Understand now why for years Christmas just literally turned my stomach?
Friends, God did so many miracles during that time.  The biggest one was to bring back the joy of Christmas for me.  Believe me, it is still difficult, but I choose joy.  Period.  Joy. Going to explode joy.  Unexplainable, only God can do that joyEvery Christmas I find myself at one point or another getting alone while I just lose it completely. It comes out of nowhere, but the dark sadness hits. It hit this morning as I started up the celebration.