It’s Christmas Eve. Even though we’ve already had brunch with my brothers and my nephew, this fact is still slowly setting in. Lily has just been put down for a nap before Christmas Eve Service at church and I’ve decided to attempt to wrap up the year. It’s crazy to me that in a week we will be entering 2016 and leaving 2015 behind us.
I can honestly say that this has been the most challenging year for our marriage so far. Tension and stress abounded at times like we have never experienced yet, and we have now had a taste of how much being intentional and relying on God can make or break your marriage. It’s been a roller coaster ride, pardon my cliche.
So much has happened this year! From having our beautiful baby girl, to a new job for my husband, starting back at school for me, sickness, health, a miscarriage, and a whole host of other things. One thing that keeps coming back to my mind is how present God has been through all of it.
Which is making me think about all of the presents under the tree and the ones that have been opened already. In my heart I am also thinking about the present given to mankind 2000 years ago in the form of a tiny baby boy. I just can’t fathom what our lives would be like without Jesus. About what it would be like if our Christmas centered more on those gifts under that tree than it did on the presence of the Holy Spirit in our home. We simply would not have made it through this year without that presence.
Sure, we have had times in the past when we needed God desperately, and if it weren’t for Him stepping in and being our strength in weak moments we may not have even gotten married; but we have never pressed in so strongly until this year. It’s been frightening and amazing at the same time. I say frightening because giving up 100% control to God has always been an issue for me. We had no choice this year however, it was either surrender or fall apart at the seams.
Boy did God really show us a thing or too. When I look back on all the challenges, and the fact that we were able to accomplish so much in spite of it all, I am filled with awe and wonder at the steadfast presence of God. I have truly begun to see what prayer can do; simple, quick prayers that get answered almost immediately but change the course of an entire day, and huge, barely utter able prayers that change the course of entire lives.
These are all things that have taken on a new meaning for me this year. They all have been experienced in our home on a whole new level and we have been taught so much about they play they’re parts in our lives.
As I sit in my chair writing this, thinking about how tomorrow is Christmas and this year is quickly coming to an end, I can’t help but wonder if God is pleased with how we served Him this year. If He is looking at all we did: to rely on Him, to share His message with others, to pull closer to Him, to read His Word and know Him more, and thinking about how proud He is of us. I sure hope so. I know that I definitely feel His love more strongly than I have ever felt before.
Friend, I hope you do too. I hope that when you look back on this year, however it played out for you, you can see definite spaces where God moved and moments where He worked miracles in your lives. I hope that when you wake up tomorrow morning, and realize that it is Christmas morning, you remember why we celebrate Christmas in the first place. I hope you remember that before there were gifts under trees, or sleigh rides, or jingle bells, there was a baby in a manger, the truest gift ever given to all the world. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
I hope that tomorrow morning, before the bustle of your festivities and family parties, and the unwrapping of your gifts, you can pause and thank the one who gave us the ultimate gift. That you can see that His presence is greater than ever present you’ve ever received.
And I hope that going in to 2016 we all come to a greater realization of our dependence on Him. I hope to see Him move like never before. I hope He teaches us more things, and breaks our hearts only to put them back together again more beautifully than before. I pray these things for my family and yours my friend. May you meet God again next year.
Merry Christmas 2015,