When I received this ornament, I had two kids under the age of two. My husband’s job kept him gone constantly. I had just started a new job. We had moved cross-country for the second time in less than a year. I was a mental mess!
Worse of all, my father was terminally ill. Daddy would pass away two days before Christmas. My life was out of control.
When I opened the box and saw this ornament, I laughed. It was a very accurate reflection of my life. The kids and I were barely hanging on! This ornament mirrored the haphazard chaos I could not control.
Yet at that same time I had no idea of how many people were praying for me. Many of them I barely knew. God placed it on their hearts to help me in ways I would have never imagined. New co-workers were tremendously kind. Childhood friends provided for me while I was immersed in my grief.
I now view this ornament not as a reminder of when I was barely hanging on but as a symbol of God’s grace. God kept us from falling even as we dangled precariously. It reminds me how God is ever present even when we feel like we can’t hang on.
What I received as a simple gift evolved into a wonderful friendship. Sharon, who gave me the ornament, would become an example for parenting my child. You see, she had already raised a son with special needs. I’m not even sure I was aware of that at the time. Yet, her faith and wonderful attitude would inspire me when I felt drained, lost and thought I couldn’t go on.
God knew who I would need in my time of crisis. My child wouldn’t be diagnosed ASD for another year. Yet, Sharon’s silent fortitude and cheerful smile would later encourage me to keep it together.
God knows who we need and how to connect us to them.
Christmas could be bittersweet. However I choose not to revisit my grief. Instead, I celebrate the birth in Bethlehem that saves us from the sting of death!
I now look back on Christmas past grateful for what God did then and faith filled for what He will do in the future.
“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:23 NKJV