Christmas Eve

I’m remembering this time last year – praying that the new reflux medication would be the last, trudging through post partum depression and the depths of severe anxiety. I remember worrying about baby calorie intake and watching the clock for naps, anger that bubbled up every time my mom mentioned that she never had to see a Gastroenterologist, just generally not feeling like myself. Did last Christmas even have any joy?

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Photo credit: Twinkle Toes by PV KS via Flickr

This year, I’m finding it hard to believe that it’s really Christmas Eve. Today doesn’t feel like Christmastime. I’m thinking of grieving friends, our sin-drenched world, how completely unfair it seems and yet how completely undeserving we are.

I’m remembering 5 days of consistent contractions with no progress. A season of waiting. Of holding onto the promise but not seeing it come to fruition. I’m thinking back to a virgin on a donkey, riding long through the desert with no place to stay, probably not without signs of imminent birth.

I’m thinking of a world waiting in labor pains.

If internet memes are any indication, we can all agree that 2016 has not been a welcome friend. Yet, letting go is hard too. What will the next year bring?

Looking back at photos and videos from one year ago today, Christmas Eve 2015, it’s hard to believe I was in such a dark and fearful place. I see myself laughing as my 9 month old daughter learns to shake her head “no.” I see that emaciated little face filled with curiosity and wonder as my dad knocks ornaments on ribbon so they swing like pendulums in the window. When my sister asks, “Do you like them?” she squeals.

Was it ever really so bad?

One ordinary night, over 2,000 years ago, shepherds were met by angels singing, “Glory to God,” and they left to find the promised baby, lying in a manger. He had yet to do anything really, but that night God came down to dwell among men.

God with us.

God for us.

They didn’t know then how the promises of God would look in the end. All they had was this little baby, marked by a star, the prophesied Messiah. King. Savior of the world.

Love came down. Love is with us. Love sustains us.

This year, I remember the promises. I hold them close like the most precious gift, close like the newborn baby, in awe and wonder at how heavy and emotional blessings can be. And the light that indwells it all, if only we look again.

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