Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

Five years ago, I waited and waited for the Christmas season. I knew the sooner we got through Christmas meant the sooner I'd be holding my first child in my arms. To our surprise, our daughter came early and that Christmas Eve, we were able to take her to church for the first time. There are no words to express how it felt to breathe in the Christmas story while snuggling my tiny 2 week old Gracie close. For the first time, my mind really processed the thought that God His son to us, as a baby. Christmas Eve has never been the same.
3 years ago, I sat in a new (to us) church building in Alabama, 38 weeks pregnant and knowing no one there but my own family. My heart overflowed again as my precious baby son kicked and moved in my belly while we sang Silent Night in the candlelight. The anticipation for Liam's arrival was great and once again, I felt the Christmas story in a whole new way. Dear Mary, in a strange place, giving birth to her baby, our Lord. Today is Christmas Eve. Tonight, we gather with our church family and listen to the most beautiful story in the world. I will have my beautiful Gracie by my side and my handsome Liam in my lap. But one will be missing. Here I am, another Christmas Eve, waiting and anticipating the arrival of our dear second son. This Christmas, we are forced to trust God more than ever. I can't hold him in my arms yet, and wrap in blankets and warm clothes to keep him warm. I can't protect him in my belly. He is here, on this earth, but he is not with us. Tonight, we will sing Silent Night and think about all that Christmas means and I know I will shed some tears thinking about my boy. Because this is hard. Waiting for him is hard and celebrating Christmas without him is hard. But even though Xavier is not, God is with us. And He is with Xavier. There is no place God can't reach. There is no place God won't go. He came to us. He joins us in the deepest parts of our pain, grief, and emptiness and offers joy, peace, and redemption. That is the beauty of Christmas. And they shall his name Immanuel, which means God with us. Matthew 1:23

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