Wednesday, December 23, 2015

a baby for christmas

Just two days till Christmas.

Just a couple of days from when my world was turned upside-down... twice.

Both times by a baby.

One year ago I was angry.  I was sad.  I was frightened and hurting.

You've heard this story before.  If you've followed my blog the last three years, you've lived it with me (quite graciously, I might add).
As Christmas neared last year, I was struggling.
I was desperately missing my family.  I was still mourning a baby lost.  I was fearing a future without children.

I wish I could tell you that I daily brought my struggles before the Lord.  That I surrendered my future and lived each day with peace and joy.

I really wish I could say that.

But I can't.

I am not proud of how I handled most of that time.  I had moments of true faith and strength... blips of peace where my heart was bowed before the Lord.  But, quite honestly, most of the time I felt like a gigantic (and not so funny) joke was being played on me.  
I was so tired of being sad.  I was weary of hoping and trusting.

I knew it was out of my control... but I still felt like a failure.  And even though he held me and told me he would always choose me even if children never came, I battled thoughts that I had let my wonderful husband down.  

By the time Christmas 2014 rolled around, I had given up hope of starting a family without doctors and much money spent.

I didn't have even the smallest inkling that I was pregnant when I took that test on Christmas Day.  It was more a routine check.  When I looked down at the test that had broken my heart over and over to see the one word I had longed for, I had to stare full minutes before I could believe I was reading it correctly.


I went out to the living room where Andrew was visiting with his family and shakily asked if he could come look at something.

"Am I reading this right?" I asked as he joined me in our bedroom.  "Baby, does it say I'm pregnant?"

Our eyes met.  There was silence... then trembling and tears and smiles and laughing.  My eyes are filling as I type these words, remembering the absolute wonder we felt in that moment.

But looking back, I think my biggest surprise wasn't simply that I was pregnant... but that I was pregnant *now*.

*Now* made me begin to understand.  To get a small glimpse...

Of this amazing grace;  
This Lover who wouldn't let me go.

I can only be in awe that He chose when I was smallest and weakest to give me this gift.

I was so angry at God.  So lacking in faith.
And He lavished love.

But, truly, it shouldn't surprise me.

God's heart for me, for you, is so full-to-overflowing with grace for each moment.

After all, the reason Christ came here as that tiny baby was to bring us to Him, even though we were His enemies.

That Christ-child was born so we could be shown grace that covers our ugliness, our hate, our fear... our absolute unworthiness.

I look into the eyes of my now almost four-month-old daughter and I know I don't deserve her.

How much less do I deserve the Son of God?

Praise the Lord it isn't about what I deserve; that while I was still lost, Love came to save me.

I am still so imperfect, my friends.  I still have fears, doubts, just plain ol' *issues*.

This Christmas I want to shout thankfulness for my Savior... the One who continues to hold me in arms of perfect, constant grace.  He is the most beautiful, the most worthy.

And, in case you didn't know, He wants you.

We are sinners.  God is perfect and holy.  Only perfection can be with Him.  We are destined for an eternity in Hell, but God doesn't want even one of us to be separated from Him. So He sent His son, Jesus.
Jesus came to earth as a baby.  He grew into a man.  The perfect Man, fully human and fully God.  He died a brutal, undeserved death.  Doing so, He paid the debt we all owe for our sinfulness.  He was buried and rose from the dead.  He is now seated in heaven.  He offers salvation from sin to anyone who will place their faith in Him as their Savior. 

That is the power of grace.  And it is free, waiting for you.

Last Christmas will always hold the sweetest of places in my heart.  I can't believe a year has already passed since I found out I was pregnant with Serenity.

But I want every Christmas to hold that kind of joy.  Because as beautiful as my baby is, the one who was born in Bethlehem is the reason I have hope, joy, and an eternity in Heaven... with Him and, I pray earnestly, with her.

I hope you know Him; the baby who came, grew, loved, died, and rose.  He came to this world, the manger, and the cross for you.

Merry Christmas, my friends!  May it be the happiest one yet!

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