This Christmas season has been different for me. It has come into my heart rather slowly and very quietly.
As the season descended upon all, I found myself avoiding it. Things that would normally bring joy to me (putting up decorations, shopping, music, creating) were a bit empty. I felt a bit hollow and guilty all at the same time. I wanted to feel it, but at the same time I couldn’t.
I prayed for help to feel it. Heaven was quiet. So I figured the best thing to do was hope and search.
One day as I watched the snow fall, a thought came into my heart. What was it like for Mary? I thought about her as they were required to travel a great distance. I wondered what her heart was saying. I imagine it wasn’t talking about the amazing celebrations or gifts or anything we get wrapped up in. It must have been quiet with determination to do what she needed to do. She must have felt the great burdens of her pregnancy and who she was carrying. She must have had so many questions of how do I do this? can I be the mother He needs? will we find a place to safely bring Him here?
As I pondered that sweet, amazing woman, my heart began to understand that maybe, just maybe this Christmas for me was to see things differently.
The quiet gifts that have been given to my heart are not those that can be wrapped up, nor will they ever fade.
I have been given the sweet understanding that hope is real. It is the foundation of faith and the opening of the heart to something greater than what we see.
I have been given sweet and powerful moments of love that have brought me to tears. Looking into my daughter’s eyes and seeing the pure joy and wonder. Watching my son work through situations that make him strong. Laying in my husband’s arms by the Christmas tree. All quiet, beautiful gifts to me.
I have been given the opportunity to see that when it feels like life is falling apart, it can actually be moving forward. These are the moments that I have been able to step back, watch quietly and see His hand working, molding and creating.
I have been given the gift to feel love wrap around my heart.
I have been given the gift to be strong when I feel like I can’t hold up the load that I have been asked to carry. Seeing Him reach down and lift my heart just enough has been so healing. He never took it all, just enough that I could continue to gain strength and move forward.
This year, Christmas is about quiet miracles. How blessed I feel to know that He wants to teach my heart deeply.