We are halfway through the month of December and we have really gone all out this year. The halls have been decked since the day after Thanksgiving, we have gone to a Christmas program at church, caroling, walked through a spectacular light display, watched one too many Christmas cartoons and have even made two trips to the North Pole (the Polar Express and a visit to Santa’s workshop).
Now that our oldest is three-and-a-half, she really understands Christmas. And as a parent, I can’t think of anything more rewarding than getting to experience the wonderment of the season than through the eyes of your own child. To put it simply, the last few weeks have been magical.
But grief. Even though we have moved forward from our miscarriage a few months back, grief can suddenly sneak up.
The future for our family seems uncertain. But I find my hope in Christmas.
I think of a humble girl who was asked to do the most amazing, but difficult task. Who carried a child out-of-wedlock, leaving herself to harsh social criticism. Who was forced to travel hundreds of miles on the back of a donkey while 9 months pregnant. Once she arrived to her destination, she had to give birth in a stable. I think of the uncertainty she must have felt during the journey—maybe even doubt and abandonment, too.
But I also think of how her enduring the pain that came with saying ‘yes’ to God’s difficult call, came the most extraordinary reward.
“Mary is twice said to be favored by God, and yet God’s favor meant not a life of bliss, but a life of risk.” – Adam Hamilton, The Journey: Walking The Road to Bethlehem
I find hope in how God uses unlikely people to accomplish his biggest works. I feel hope in how God uses life’s misgivings and expertly weaves them into a story beyond what us humans can imagine.
When the uncertainty of life seems to stronghold me this season, I think of a God who left his perfect home, to not only save the world, but to live in it. Who came here to display his love even though He was certain of the pains he would face in this human life—loneliness, sadness and even grief.
I find peace in that God not only sees my pain, but that he intimately knows what pain feels like.
Even though doubt has crept in this season, Christmas really brings me happiness. I love it all—the lights, Santa, the songs. The more, the merrier. But better than happiness, is the hope the Christmas story brings. Hope in knowing that we are not alone. Emmanuel—God with us.