Every year Christmas finds me. This was the first year I remember sharing that experience with others. (See previous blog, “A Christmas Grief”) Maybe it’s because I shared it, but I can’t recall that moment arriving this year.
Several small gifts caught my attention:
- the young girl at church wearing “gum boots.” Her father took her out of the service, and she skipped along, those rubber galoshes galloping a smile across my face.
- the elderly gentlemen who stood up during the Christmas Eve service to slowly wrap a coat around his wife, seated in a wheelchair beside him.
- hearing my own self laugh out loud at Sven the reindeer in Frozen when his tongue got stuck to the ice bridge.
All in all, however, nothing jumped out as THE moment. Thinking through this and starting to feel sorry for myself, the Spirit brought to mind how Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19 NIV). She spent the first Christmas on an emotional roller coaster from terror and confusion to holiness and quiet space. My year resembles that ride in a tiny way, and maybe yours does as well.
- I risked applying for a job in Colorado—exciting!
- Flew to Colorado to interview for the job—terror!
- Got the job—terror and joy!
- Packed up the house—confusion and sadness!
- Drove across country—(not to Bethlehem but almost felt like it)—freeing and tiring!
- New job, new colleagues, new apartment…but no family and friends—happy and very sad!
- Reminders that the Christ Who came so long ago lives within me and remains there without any plan to leave—worth treasuring and pondering!
So my experience of God’s Christmas gift this year was different but every bit as powerful as years gone by. Time by myself this Christmas has catapulted me into the heavens as I ponder the goodness and holiness of a Father God Who loved me (and you) so much, He sent His only Son to a very broken world to save us.
What a treasured gift to ponder this year!