Saturday, December 24, 2011
This Christmas is not at all what I had planned.
It's actually one of the most depressing Christmas' I've ever experienced.
Quite honestly, this Christmas just sucks.
I am home. Alone.
My husband and children are in the Chicago area celebrating Christmas with Shane's family.
My grandparents, uncle, and brother are in town, but staying at my parents house.
My mom is still at the hospital with my dad who is dying from a cancer that, just a week ago, we didn't even know he had.
I'm home with a very fussy baby, looking at a half lit Christmas tree, thinking that this very likely could be my last Christmas with my dad.
There are no presents under our tree.
There was no Christmas Eve service.
There was no special meal, family get togethers, or candle light service.
There was nothing "festive" about today. Nothing at all.
As I am sitting here typing this post, I'm on the verge of tears. There are so many unknowns. How long will my dad live? How will my mom survive? What will our family look like with him gone? Will he be sick? How do we tell the kids?
But as I sit here, I also have been forced to really think about what Christmas is and what it truly means to me.
It all hurts so very much. The grief of Joshua's death is still so fresh. Now there is a new grief added to the mix. I'm losing my daddy. I'm watching my him suffer- the very man who provided for me, protected me, and loved me unconditionally. I'm watching my mom and my brother suffer and grieve as they face the reality that they will eventually lose him. I'm thinking about my children who could very likely grow up without their grandfather in their life.
As I sit here, alone, on Christmas Eve, I can't help but think of the Baby that was born so long ago. The very Baby who came to this Earth so that the suffering of this life would not be the only life we have. I have been forced to face the fact that the baby that was born in a manger is our only Hope for a future.
I have chosen to follow that baby as my Savior. I have chosen to put my trust in Him and allow Him to work in my life. By choosing Him, I have put my life in His hands- even if I don't agree with how my life is going.
He never promised easy- these past few years have been anything but easy. He never promised that following Him would make me perfect in this life. He never promised that I would never feel pain again. But, He has promised an eternal life. He has promised an eternity without suffering. He has promised life through His blood.
This Christmas, I have cried many, MANY tears. I have cried out to God. I have shaken my fists at Him and asked Him why. I have boldly asked Him for an Earthly healing for my dad. I have screamed four letter words at Him. But, I have also rejoiced that He sent that Baby to be born in the manger for me, for my dad, and for my family.
This Christmas, it truly is not about the gifts. It's not about fancy family parties, midnight church services, or pretty decorations. This Christmas it's about a baby who came to save us. It's about a Savior who loves us. It's about trusting that He is carrying us. Most importantly, it's about rejoicing that His blood covers us.
This Christmas is like no other.