As I reflect on this Christmas season and those of years past, joy, love, and gratitude are the hallmarks.
The years have dragged me along while also flying past, and my heart is filled with gratitude for it all. To learn and grow so deeply has been a painful experience nevertheless I give thanks to Heavenly Father for keeping watch over me and my family through every trial. We have been watched over with a most tender hand.
Love permeates my thoughts as they turn to the people who surround me now and at every point that I stood in need of love and they were there. Whether intentional or not, many people have been the Lord's hands in loving and protecting us. I have been loved even when I could not see how anyone would or could ever care about me. Friends have made time for me when I needed to not be left alone; they have sacrificed family time and happier friend time to help me through my dark days. Every time I stop to ponder what has happened in my life over the past several years, amazement washes over my heart, and I can hardly keep from weeping with joy and gratitude for the miracle that has been my life. It gives me hope for the future, that it will continue being a miraculous journey of love and joy.
With Christmas upon us, I tie all of it together to honor the Christ Child who was born, shared the gospel with the world, atoned for all that we have done—our mistakes, sins, sufferings of body, heart, and soul—only to be crucified. But he overcame death. And that is how we have Christmas to celebrate. The love and joy that we sometimes take for granted comes to us by the grace of God and through the light of Christ within each of us.
While it is not a traditional Christmas song, the hymn "I Stand All Amazed" has always been one that resonates with me. I especially think of the second verse at this time:
My hope and prayer is that the light of Christ will brighten your Christmas and that you will feel God's love for you no matter where you are, no matter what is happening in your life, whether or not you fully recognize His divinity.I marvel that he would descend from his throne divineTo rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine,That he should extend his great love unto such as I,
Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify.
Let's stand amazed and neither forget nor take for granted the gift of Christ's birth. He lived, atoned, and died for us all that we might live again and be with God and our families for eternity.
Happy Christmas to all!