Wednesday, December 24, 2014
The long road to Christmas
Every time my five other kids besides my youngest go to their other parents for the first leg of Christmas break, I flash back to the day in 2008 when I gave it all to Him. Jesus.
I have always been a Christmas Junkie. When I was young, we used to go to a place called "The Original Christmas Store" where we collected SO many Christmas decorations our house was always filled with Christmas. Busting at the seams. I loved the thought of Christmas. The smells and the lights, everything. I was hooked. But I didn't know Him and what Jesus was really capable of until one Christmas Eve everything changed.
You see, I had been a carefree single girl since a very painful divorce in 2005. I had spent the last three years having "me time" every first third and fifth weekend like most parents with primary custody. I was a mom when I had my daughter and love her immensely still, but I also had my share of fun. I was happy and blissfully ignorant of how my life could change in an instant.
On the night of Halloween of 2008, everything changed in a blink. My boyfriend at the time and I were sitting at a red light on our way home after a fun night with friends when we were badly rear ended by a drunk driver. He was going 50mph when he slammed into the back passenger side of our vehicle. My back was badly hurt and I had whiplash. I went to the ER by ambulance but nothing was broken and even though I was very sore, I was all right. They asked if I could be pregnant and I didn't know what to say. I didn't think so, I was on the pill, but I had been so sick with flulike symptoms. They took a blood test and told me to go take a pee test. So, I got one and took it and though I was in a lot of pain, I was also pregnant. Scared out of my mind, I couldn't stop shaking. I thought that this guy was a good one and that he would stand up and be there, but we barely knew each other. He ended up rejecting me and the unborn baby when he called three days before he wedding, on December 14th and said he didn't want to marry me. So here I was... Alone and broken. My daughter was with her dad. The carefree single girl had disappeared, and I also had just been laid off from the company I worked for after telling them of my pregnancy. I was raw, beaten down, and in shock. My parents pleaded with me to come visit, but I couldn't fathom sitting there in the pews of the church I had attended right after my divorce where people were so supportive and reveal my news to them. I was just too raw. I needed to be alone.
So, as I sat there in the pew at the church near my apartment on Christmas Eve, Alone and afraid, I prayed to the One I knew might be able to help. What I needed was hope. I was empty. I laid my heart at the cross that night. Against my better judgement, I had gotten into a huge mess and time would reveal that the ripple effect was going to be bigger than I ever could have imagined. I asked God to draw me close and fix my broken heart. And you know what? He did.
It's taken a long time but I am happier than I've ever been. The hope that was restored to me that night at the altar six years ago makes me want to remember Him and what he did for me that Christmas Eve. It far overshadows the humanness of my circumstances at the time. God is never ending and he can drag you out of the depths of brokenness and prepare you for whatever you have happen in your future.
This year I will walk the long road to Christmas with open arms and I will hug the baby Jesus with my heart when I pray. I will renew my promise that I will mirror Christ to others. I will not pretend to be perfect but I will share my imperfection with those who want to hear it. Because my flaws are what opened my heart to this savior.
Bare your true and broken heart to Him this year. Let God In. He will equip you to handle whatever life throws at you!
Here we are, Christmas season 2014, God and a great system of support have brought us so far. There is more to the story that I will share eventually, but this is why Christmas means so much to me.