I know it’s after Christmas but I have one last Christmas story to share with you. It’s only a Christmas story because of the time of year it took place. In reality it’s a forever story—one meant for you and me. A story of how God takes us from where we are and brings us back to the place we need to be.
It was the 16th of December and in true form I was feeling the same way I have felt for the last 30 Christmas seasons.
Not happy, elated, whimsical, joyful or ecstatic…
Tired, defeated, overwhelmed, crushed and burdened.
I’m that family member who is the gift buyer, present wrapper, decorator, cookie baker and party planner extraordinaire.
I want to make everything just right.
But I always end up feeling all wrong.
And so it was nine days before Christmas and I was sick and tired of it all again. The joy of the season eluding me once more.
On my list this day was the Buy Buy Baby store to purchase a car seat for my son and daughter-in-law for our first grandson expected in early February.
As I walked into the store which celebrates new life, my heart felt the weight of death. It was two days before the anniversary of my mother’s passing. In a place where the miracle of life should far overshadow the misery of death a mixture of emotion was swirling wildly inside me.
In the middle of the seasonal mayhem, came a perfect storm of memories, and new makings.
Feeling a deluge of tears coming on I rolled my cart around a corner and ducked behind an end cap to regain my “mature” composure. The section was filled with all grand mommy must-haves—baby booger catcher, multiple sanitizers, corn-on-the-cob toothbrushes and the book, Love You Forever.
My eyes burning with moisture, I strained to read the touching story of a parent and child, the circle of life, the strength of enduring love. And in my mind I heard the words from a song I listened to the night before. The one I couldn’t get out of my head.
“This is where the journey ends where death will die and life begins.
And right there in a Buy Buy Baby, I was born again.
Standing in front of the end cap with the sanitizers and booger catchers, God renewed the joy of my salvation—the true meaning of Christmas.
I was renewed by the strength of my heavenly Father’s enduring love.
What He did for me.
It is in the Christ child where our journey ends—where death dies and life begins.
Because of His enduring love, my mother lives on still.
Because of His enduring love, baby Henderson will know his great grandma.
Because of His enduring love, He left His glory to be born that we no longer be left to mourn but have hope.
Because of His enduring love, today I breathe eternal life.
And because of His enduring love He took me from where I was and brought me to where I needed be, an end cap at a Buy Buy Baby where He gave me the best gift…
A very merry Christmas.
“Restore to me the joy of my salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” Psalm 51:12
May the joy of your salvation sustain you not just at Christmastime but year ‘round and forever.
Looking forward, pressing on and seeking God in every bump and twist in the road.