This year, not surprisingly, “humanity” has left me gobsmacked with their typical, annual worsening of entitlement and general disdain. Happy holidays? Not even if you get ’em on sale. Traffic was horrific; people even worse. Anger? Hostility? Rage? Seems that’s what retailers really stocked up on this year. And it got to me. And I let it get to me. Having left my regular job in September in an effort to get our business off the ground, we’ve hit a few snags. We’re alright, just tired. Thankfully, all seems to have worked out for the best (as it almost always does) and our worries seemed to be for nothing. Nevertheless, it’s been hard to get “festive”. The abundance of bad attitudes didn’t help at all.
I needed to get in the “spirit”. Not just for me –but for my kids. For my husband. For people around me. For my soul. I love Christmas. Always have. Being out of the mood just doesn’t suit me this time of year — especially since I’ve been known to listen to (and belt out) Christmas songs in June. Yes, I’m that jerk that everyone knows. “Hi, my name is Sarah and I love Christmas carols.”
A few weeks back, I went to church with my parents instead of where we had been going. It just happened to be the easiest thing to do since Gabe had spent the night with them. I’d just bring him home with me after services, easy peasy. I went figuring I wouldn’t be altogether impressed. Granted, I didn’t go in critiquing. But I didn’t figure I’d be moved, either. The service was great — the pastor’s message was on point. Can I say that about a preacher’s sermon? Seems off, doesn’t it? Anyway, it was. On point. But a song was played that I’ve heard every single year since I was pregnant with Gabe. And every single year, I need to hear it. And every year, without fail, there is a new message provided. This year was no different. Oddly enough, it’s a thought that I’ve had — albeit, fleeting. You’ve probably heard the song. I’ve posted it below, just in case.
A baby changes everything. There is so much obvious in that lyric. I mean, obviously… babies change everything. Every aspect of life. But you know how some things are so obvious you seem to overlook them? I do that with my boys from time to time. Not overlooking them, but overlooking the obvious. I’ve often wondered how Mary had to have felt when she carried her baby. How she might have wanted to distance herself — knowing what was to come — and yet, also wanting to cling tightly to the little life that would eventually save the world. A world that would not do likewise for her infant; our Savior.
I wonder how she got through her days watching him grow; watching him learn. How she had to have stayed busy to not think about what was to come at a time she had not been given. And yet…. how much pride would she have felt? What a bittersweet life she had to have lived after her baby was born. How strange it had to have felt raising her sacrifice. Would she have felt resentment for the world — or the greatest depth of pity?
I, myself, can hardly bear to think of it. Raising my own two boys who, though far from perfect, are absolute perfection for my life… I cannot imagine the pain and the pride she had to have experienced for the rest of her days. How bizarre it had to have felt; how speechless it might have rendered her. How humbling.
Thankfully, our debt has already been paid. Thankfully, I will never have to know the immense emotional struggle she had to have faced. I will never have to give up my boys for a world that would not do the same. But I can imagine it. I can feel it. And to say I’m grateful is the understatement of a lifetime. A baby changes everything, indeed. My babies changed my everything. Her baby changed my everything. I may get flustered with preparations and I may swear at a box or two, but my Spirit glows. So no matter the “bah humbug” attitude of others; no matter if my dressing is dry or if my wrapping skills need serious adjusting. My Christmas was not wrapped in bows; it was wrapped in swaddling cloth. I have found Christmas. Or did Christmas find me?
From our home to yours, I wish your the Merriest of Christmases.