Around Mother’s Day, I wrote this post on the heartbreaking reality for many women of empty arms.
If Mother’s Day is the single hardest day of the year for women who don’t/can’t have children, Christmas is a close second.
You can ask anyone who knows me well, and they’ll tell you I love Christmas.
I love the trees and the lights and the songs and the movies and the remembrance of God becoming man.
I love getting my husband, who is just a big kid, gifts to go under the tree and in his stocking. (Seriously, if we ever have kids, Justin is going to be so, so fun at Christmas!)
I love it all.
But Christmas is hard.
Anytime I’m asked what I want for Christmas, my heart cries, “A baby.”
I go shopping and my heart aches as I walk down the toy aisle looking for gifts for nieces and nephews and am very aware no one in my home has a need for gifts like these.
I see the pretty Christmas dresses and suits and shoes for little ones, and I stifle a cry.
I see mine and Justin’s stockings hanging on the wall and mourn over the ones that aren’t there.
I see our Christmas tree and lament the gifts that haven’t been bought.
I make up our Christmas cards, and again this year, it’s just a picture of the two of us.
Christmas is always difficult, but for some reason or other, it seems to be worse this year.
My emotions have been on a record-setting roller coaster lately, and my wonderful husband has endured it all.
As much as I love this holiday, I am so sad….and I’m not alone.
Some people can’t bring themselves to attend parties or family get-togethers because of the bellies or babies that will be there.
Some can’t bear to even have a tree or decorate and would just assume that no one mention the word “Christmas.”
While it is incredibly difficult, I, thankfully, haven’t resorted to complete hermit status.
Why, you may ask?
Because of the true meaning of Christmas.
This day, this time, this season isn’t about buying gifts, wrapping them, and placing them under a tree.
It isn’t about filling a stocking or pretty dresses or taking pictures.
It’s about the God of glory robing Himself in flesh.
This God who always had been, who has existed throughout eternity became our Emmanuel.
God with us.
He came to identify Himself with us so He could pay the price for our sins.
He came to restore the relationship between the created and the Creator.
He came to die.
Because He fulfilled what He came to do, I belong to Him.
If He loved me enough to come to this earth and take my place on Calvary, He certainly loves me enough to take care of me now.
He comforts me and reminds me that He has a perfect will for my life.
He knows my hurt and understands my tears.
He knows, and He cares.
My heart may be broken over the fact that this is our 6th Christmas with just 2 stockings, but there is peace in the middle of my brokenness.
I was reminded this morning of a promise God made to His people in Isaiah 9:2.
“The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”
Here God is talking about the dark days before Jesus’ birth and the light that came with His appearance.
The Jewish shepherds weren’t the only ones to see the star that led to Jesus, but the Gentile wise men saw it as well.
This promise wasn’t just for the children of Israel, but was for all the “people that walked in darkness.”
It’s for me and you too!
His Light reaches from Bethlehem to Nazareth to Jerusalem to North Carolina.
I didn’t need to go to where He was born to see His light….but He came to where I was.
This is why Isaiah referred to it as a “great light!”
The Lord used this great truth to remind me that dark times, even these, won’t last forever.
The light will shine and darkness will flee.
Darkness can’t stand against the light of His presence.
It couldn’t then, and it can’t now.
Friend, let me remind you, Christ has defeated the darkness.
No matter what you’re facing, if you’re in Him, there is victory.
In Him, there is hope.
Oh, I know some days feel like anything but victorious, but the victory is in Jesus…not in our feelings.
Nothing is present that He hasn’t allowed and He’ll never do anything to hurt or harm us.
My Lord isn’t being mean to me by allowing me another holiday season without children.
I often think of this chorus:
“God is too wise to be mistaken,
and God is too good to be unkind;
So when you don’t understand,
When you don’t see His plan,
When you can’t trace his hand,
Trust His heart.”
This Christmas, if you find yourself heart broken, trust God.
If you find yourself in circumstances you don’t understand or enjoy, trust God.
If these holidays seem too hard to bear, just trust Him.
Lean on Him.
Cry out to Him.
Cast all your care on Him….for He careth for you.
Remember, we can’t see the whole picture, but He can.
Don’t get caught up on the thought of your “empty stockings.”
Who knows what next year will bring?
Your miracle may come when you least expect it.
Until then, remember why we celebrate Christmas in the first place:
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” ~John 1:14
“God became a man.
While the creatures of earth walked unaware, Divinity arrived. Heaven opened herself and placed her most precious One in a human womb.
God had come near.
He came, not as a flash of light or as an unapproachable conqueror, but as one whose first cries were heard by a peasant girl and a sleepy carpenter. The hands that first held him were unmanicured, calloused, and dirty.
No silk. No ivory. No hype. No party. No hoopla.
Were it not for the shepherds, there would have been no reception. And were it not for a group of stargazers, there would have been no gifts.
But God came near.
The Word became flesh.
You see, in becoming man, God made it possible for man to see God.
Christ entered our world. As a result, we can enter His.”
~from “God Came Near” by Max Lucado