This Christmas came with a lot of baggage from a 2016 filled with disappointment, so much so that Nick and I decided we’d just forego our traditional annual Christmas song and slide show. In my head I knew God is faithful, loving, merciful and just – but the events of 2016 just didn’t seem to match up.
The things that I prayed about this year weren’t grandiose, at least according to Facebook. All year long people have been getting new jobs, gigs, having babies, renovating houses, and showing off perfectly painted toes on a white sandy beach alongside turquoise waters – what I consider “#living” – but I guess it just wasn’t meant for me.
I tried to keep up and “count my blessings,” wringing out what good I possibly could out of mediocre circumstances because nobody really likes to know the sad truth or admit it. On the surface my efforts may have appeared pious and faithful, but between God and me, the inner bitterness and darkness in my heart was unavoidable.
So we started there, God and me – and I took Him up on His offer:
This was a daily task, and I admit my prayers repeatedly looked like this this Advent season:
“God, I know Christmas is about You. I really want it to be, but You see there’s this thing…”
Poor baby Jesus just kept getting a laundry list of things I was angry, sad, or disappointed about – gifts certainly not fit for a king.
But sweet Jesus is unlike any other king. He is just, yet at the same time merciful and gracious. He is all-powerful and all-knowing, yet also humble and invites us into intimate dialogue and relationship with Him. He sheds light and banishes darkness, comforts where there is pain and sorrow, and heals the brokenhearted.
Despite myself and my feelings, God met me where I was and opened my eyes to see the beautiful abundant treasures He has given me – which probably would not have been the case had things gone “my way” this year.
Though this Christmas was definitely a battle for joy, I am grateful to be reminded once again that there is reason to hope: God’s will is always best and Christ’s love always wins. Merry Christmas!