Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Reflections

I've been wanting to write for awhile. People have asked how we were doing and some asking me to write but I just never got the urge to. I think I have hesitated partly because we have been in a whirlwind of events between baby planning and the holidays, but mostly because I didn't want my  blog to be a big emotional mess....and I have been an emotional mess as of late.

I do think a lot of my crazy emotions are pregnancy related. You really have no control of the raging hormones within you. Most recent examples would be crying because Panera Bread was closed, crying because I didn't fit into a certain outfit, crying when hungry, and I must admit, just last night I teared up in the movie Elf of all things, when Buddy saved Christmas. If you know me, you know tears would never happen for any of those reasons normally!

But there is an element of multiple emotions linked to our story, pregnant hormones or not. I still have moments, mostly when by myself in the car or the shower, of overwhelming sadness, joy and awe all at once.  Moments of reflection on all that we have been through this year, thoughts of what it would be like to bury my child or deliver a stillborn. Lots of tears. And then more gratitude than I've ever felt before that losing her is not the story we will have, that we will get to have a child soon. More tears. A sense of wonder of how she could be healthy after all that we saw in the first half of pregnancy. More tears. It's in these quiet emotional moments that the fear creeps in as well. What if she isn't really healthy after all (although at all of our OB appointments since we got our reversed diagnosis, she has looked 100% healthy and normal)? What if something goes wrong with delivery? Or after? This kind of fear is so not what we have been called to and I have to pull myself out of it often.

"For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and self control"  -2 Timothy 1:7

Have you ever thought about the Christmas story in relation to emotion? Christmas has become so much commercialism that I think that sometimes the actual Christmas story takes a back seat. Maybe it's because I'm pregnant, maybe it's because of the gift of life we have recently been given, but I have really been thinking about all the feelings involved in the story as Christmas nears. Think about how much fear Mary and Joseph must have felt throughout all that they were called to. Fear of criticism and what others would think when she became pregnant before married, fear when there was no room in the Inn for her to deliver the baby, fear of being the parents of a savior, worry about if that would be well received, fear of all the unknown. Think about all the other emotions they must have felt. Gratitude that the Lord picked them and provided for them step by step along the way, joy as they met their son, wonder as they realized he was their savior. So many emotions.

I'm not at all trying to compare our story to the greatest birth story ever told, but I do think that our perspective is so different this year, that I may for the first time really be able to understand the story in a different way. And while I have heard this story my entire life and truly believe it is real, our situation this year certainly makes it feel more real. I understand what it means to get a gift you don't deserve better than I have before. I understand the roller coaster of emotions within it all, what it must have felt like to walk through all of that. I understand what the verse within the story means when it says "Mary pondered all these things in her heart". I can't even begin to imagine how weary Mary must have felt traveling in her third trimester, and what it could have been like to deliver a baby in a stable, not to mention the crazy emotions she must of felt knowing who she was giving birth to!

I'd encourage you this Christmas to think about the true meaning of it. To remember that the people within that story were real and to try and reflect on what it must have felt like. I'll tell you really thinking about what it must have felt like sure does give me more understanding of the wonder and awe of it all. It really is an amazing story.

I leave you with the quote my pastor used today at church when talking about the story of Jesus' birth. "It's a crazy story, that people should think is weird.......unless it was real". Don't forget how real the story really was as you go about all your Christmas activities. And don't forget what it meant for all of us!

Merry Christmas everyone!