A Very Different Christmas This Year

StockingsChristmas is a favourite family holiday and we celebrate by creating experiences together. Anticipation has always filled my December calendar, except those years when we had just relocated to a new country. Then, losses outweighed excitement. What I missed took the forefront in my soul. This year I have a very similar feeling, yet circumstances are very different. We’ve lived in the same house for years. Most everything, in fact, is the same. We’re close to family, have great friendships, amazing work and are involved in volunteer activities. The house is decorated and presents are bought.

What has changed? We made the decision to get some serious professional help for our son. A domino effect of chaotic change has resulted: He’s not with us for our holiday experiences and he won’t be home for Christmas. I miss his comings and goings. I walk into his room each day, wondering how he’s doing, longing to know what’s happening.

I am stripped this Christmas season. Stripped of dreams. And of control – not like I had much before, yet it seems miniscule now! I feel helpless, doubting whether our love was enough for our precious boy. Fragile and vulnerable, I want to curl up and sleep away this season. My heart bleeds with pain and sadness.

I am surrendered this Christmas season. Surrendered to the Master and His plan. Trusting, I realize I have no control. I am exhausted and have little left to give so I give in to the process of what needs to be in order that healing and new life will emerge in time.

My heart also beats with hope. This is the best we can give right now. My heart beats with hope that he is safe with wonderful, experienced professionals doing all they can to reach him. And hope in him – his resilience, his ability to find himself and reach for the identity and destiny he was created for.

Paint SplatterMy heart has been a canvass of splashed, unruly emotions these last weeks. Small strokes of bright yellows and reds over thick dark, brooding greys and blacks. It’s been an uncomfortable place. Yet, the Christmas story has come alive in new ways, through this perspective of sadness and helplessness:

Zachariah is struck dumb from the time he’s told that his wife, Elizabeth is to have a baby (in her old age) until the baby’s birth and dedication. I can relate to his unbelief.

Do I dare trust God for the impossible?
Even when everything around me says “impossible”?

NativityMary, too, was called to the ‘impossible’. In her young, naive trust, she said “Let it be to me as you have said” when the angel explained God’s plan. She surrendered, even though there would be gossip and ridicule.

What losses did Mary endure in her obedience?
What am I willing to endure for the sake of the Creator’s Plan?

And Joseph – his world was changed forever when Mary came and told him that she was expecting God’s Son. An angel intervened to help him understand that this wasn’t some crazed woman he had become engaged to. Joseph accepted what was happening and took it a day at a time.

What do I need to accept right now?
What would change as I release control and accept?

The angel said “fear not”. To Zachariah. Mary. Joseph. The shepherds. Fear is such a big part of the unknown. Faith can’t exist with fear. It can replace it.

Where do I need to hear “fear not” right now?

The Christmas story has become a precious part of my journey this year. It has reminded me much about miracles, surrender, acceptance and letting go of fear.

This Christmas will be very different for me and my family. Yet the story of Christmas remains the same. It bringsHope love, joy, peace and hope. I’m leaning in and drawing from Highest Love this season. I want to experience these gifts – LOVE, PEACE, JOY and HOPE, for they are far greater than any of those that I’ll unwrap from under the tree on Christmas Day.

How about you? Will you join me?

Becky Signature 2 (Matchullis-PC's conflicted copy 2014-11-13)



You may also want to read:

5 Ways to Nurture Your Spirit This Holiday Season

Other resources to enjoy this season:

Short clips of the story of Christmas Great to see as a family.

Christmas story reading or listening plan (only 5 days)

For more on the story of Jesus’ life

Bible app for kids, which includes “The First Christmas.

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