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When Christmas Isn’t Merry

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Two friends texted me last night asking their circles to pray for a woman named Molly Remmert Rossell. When Heather sent me Molly’s story, I cried in the parking lot of Hobby Lobby. She is my age with three little girls. My day had been hard with sick girls and a baby who has a nasty double ear infection. Heather’s son had flooded her house, once again, with a toilet mishap. But everything comes into perspective when you read Molly’s story. And while I was out trying to shop for a few last Christmas things, it was a sobering reminder that Christmas isn’t about presents. It’s about presence. Our presence with family, friends, and a world that needs to know Love. And His Presence coming down as a Baby to redeem this broken world. Hope isn’t the removal of our awful circumstances. Hope is the promise of our Savior’s return and His complete and victorious redemption of this world. Molly, this Bama girl is praying for you and your husband and for those three beautiful daughters.

Last year in the wee hours of the morning, I wrote the following post. I was feeding my one month old, and my heart was broken for several I loved who were walking through a very painful Christmas. I don’t know where you are today, but I hope these words encourage you.

When Christmas Isn’t Merry ~ Originally published December 23, 2014 

Right now someone is buying a sparkly ring and practicing dropping to one knee. Someone is getting in the car to head to the hospital to welcome a tiny newborn to the world. Someone is arriving home from college glad to be in the safe embrace of home with a home-cooked meal at last. Someone just got news that her loved one is in remission. Someone just got a job.

And at the same time someone is facing her first Christmas as a single mom. And someone is devastated because there isn’t a new stocking on the mantel this year just like last year and the year before that. Someone heads home from college to fighting and a tense home. Someone just heard there’s nothing more the doctors can do. Someone is facing her first Christmas without a parent. Someone just found out she’s been downsized and doesn’t know how she will pay the mortgage next month. Someone is stuck at home with sick littles or desperate for a good night’s sleep. Someone is worried and afraid. Someone feels lonely and forgotten.

We feel like if Christmas isn’t merry and bright, all smiles and good cheer, then we’ve somehow messed up and missed out. But we haven’t. My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night.

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn’
Fall on your knees, O hear the angels’ voices
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
O night divine, O night, O night divine

There we are in all our brokenness pining for the Only One who can make us whole. But when He appears the soul feels its worth. At last. The thrill of Hope. Our weary heart rejoices.

The world tells us that our Christmas has to be merry and bright. But God whispers the truth. Fall on your knees, sweet child. I’ve got you. I know you’re broken and weary. I know your burdens. And I am shattering your darkness with the Light that brings Hope. I know you’re in the pitch-black of night right now, but I’m going to show you Divine.

God didn’t wait until morning. He didn’t wait until our circumstances were better or we had our act together because He knew that would never happen this side of Heaven. Instead, He comes to us in our weakest moment and brings the Light.

You don’t have to pretend your Christmas is merry if it isn’t. All you have to do is fall on your knees and hear the angels’ voices, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

Fear not, weary one, your Savior has come.

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