There's no doubt about it. This is a hard month for me, for all of us. On one hand, this past year went by so quickly but on the other, it seems like yesterday my sweet girl was here, loving us, laughing and making the best out of her impossible situation. I can still hear her laugh and her chatter and I still really miss it all.
The sights and sounds of Christmas remind me of the great sadness of last year, of the suffering Jessica endured day after day. Christmas hymns seem to trigger the most emotion. Songs of the joy and celebration of this season that were so hard to find last year are all reminders of the one who is missing from our family.
But in the midst of this, I'm determined to look a little harder for the joy this season. When it comes down to it, we have an unbelievable amount of things to be thankful for, moments to celebrate and reasons to rejoice.
It all begins and ends with the amazing gift of Christ Jesus. I have no words to express what my life would mean without His presence, His love, His perfect plan of an eternity together, all because of His ultimate, beautiful, matchless, gift of self sacrifice. Without it, I would never see my family again after death. Can you imagine that? Without His plan of filling the earth with a people that love and adore Him, we would have no children, no husbands, no mother, fathers, grandparents or friends. Our lives would have no connecting point centered on Him...the church, the body of Christ. We'd have no reason for it. We'd have no music, no art, no cuddly kittens, or playful pups. The tastes that delight us, the sounds that soothe us, the simple things that make us smile all originate from an amazing Creator. It is all His creation, His gifts to an undeserving people.
Any why? That is what is hardest to comprehend; this kind of love that is so amazingly unselfish, perfect and complete in every way and is bestowed unconditionally upon us......wow. Yet, how much do we really embrace it? How much do we believe in it? That that love is for you, all of it. A love that never, ever leaves us. Even when we don't return it, it is there. When we're selfish, sinful and prideful, it is there. When we're feeling the shame of the past, or scared about the future, it is there. And in our darkest hours of sorrow and sadness, it is most definitely there.
Everything we are searching for in this season, no matter where you are in life, can be found in this love.The things to be thankful for, the reasons to celebrate and reasons to rejoice are found in the love of a perfect Saviour. All the we are lacking, all that we hope for, all the deepest longings of our heart can be filled by such a love.
As I reflect on that perfect, innocent child of God come to earth as a babe, I see His love manifested right before my eyes. It's been here since before time began and will exist into eternity, but the important thing is that it's here for us, today, right now, right where we are, right when we need it.
Love has done amazing things in our family this year, through the darkest days we've ever known. I hope and pray wherever you are, whatever is going on in your life, that you know and embrace the love of Emmanuel (God with us). It is a powerful, wonderful and amazing gift!
"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" 1 John 4:9-10