Sunday, December 25, 2016

One year ago - Merry Christmas!

I recently found notes in my Bible from December one year ago.  On December 25, 2015, I asked that God might be creating life inside me.  Instead He was creating in both Jason and me a dependence on Him as only He knew exactly how and when He had planned for us to have a baby, which was much different than we would have thought.
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At this time last year, Jason and I had just finished several infertility treatments and were in the midst of considering what to do next.  We weren't exactly on the same page and neither one of us had any idea what was ahead.
It was an emotionally trying time as we waited on the Lord to know how to proceed in the journey towards becoming parents.
Looking back, it is amazing to think of all the decisions, all the questions, all the heartache, all the hard conversations, all the prayers, and all the love and support from family and friends that has brought us to where we are now.
By God's grace, here we are - anxiously awaiting the birth of Baby Eno in just over 3 months -- 105 days to be exact...well, you know whenever the precise day is that God has planned for Baby Eno to come into the world!
This Christmas has been the first in several years that I haven't been in the midst of a depression.  It's true.  The past few Christmas seasons have had incredible highs and devastating lows that have wrecked my emotions.  From experiencing the thrill of being newly married to crying never-ending tears while watching my Grandfather pass away, to realizing the quiet absence of extended family at a time when everyone in the world (or so I thought) was with their families, to wondering if we would ever have children.
In the past (and still sometimes today), I have let my emotions control me, telling me that the only good Christmas' were the ones that used to be.  The ones that were in the past.  The ones that looked and sounded and smelled and felt a certain way -- a way that was different than the present moment I was in.  These thoughts clenched joy and stifled smiles that could have relaxed my stressed being, as well as been a blessing to someone else.
There have been moments this year too where memories from Christmas' past come flooding in and initiate an intense longing for what once was.
But, instead of stealing the joy from the good things God has for me in this moment, these memories have brought a peaceful reflection and thankfulness for the precious times that God has given me in the past.
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December 2016 - A picture with my parents and sister who visited in mid December.  No, it's not a picture of what Christmas used to be (except for the pretzel salad!), and it's not December 25th. But this moment is still a gift from the Lord.
There are joys to be experienced this Christmas and in future Christmas's regardless of my state of being, my location, or who is around me.  It is not always easy or natural to take hold of the joy that is already mine, but it is there all the same. 
Why?
Because of Jesus.
Jesus brings deep joy that is offered to us in the midst of tragedy, loneliness, sickness, and heartache.  It is offered to us in the midst of busy lives.  It is offered now, at Christmastime, especially.
As we await the birth of Baby Eno, I realize even more how God's people anxiously waited for the birth of Jesus!  Even after the angel's proclamation to Mary and Joseph about the birth of their son, they still had to wait 9 months to meet him!
The announcement, the birth, the life, the death, the resurrection and the second coming of Jesus bring the greatest peace and joy the world has ever known.  It is something that never gets old, never disappoints, and never fails.
What a gift Baby Eno has been to us already!
Truly more than we can imagine.
And how much greater is the gift of Jesus, who has already come, already died for our sins, and is reigning on high, inviting us to trust Him and live life for him?!

We have much to be thankful for...not just this Christmas, and not even every Christmas, but every single day of our lives.

Christmas Eve, 2016

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