It’s the season where we think about miracles, let me tell you about one that happened in my life…
Twenty-five years ago my brother died a few days before Christmas. He and his children had been badly burned in a fire that involved the Christmas tree. It was a live tree, and following an electrical shortage it went off like a bomb! In the following years I struggled with difficult memories at Christmas time and could not bring myself to celebrate, especially with a tree. I always attended Christmas Eve services, but that was it. Also, I was single, a difficult dynamic during a season when our culture focuses on families.
Then, I met and married my husband. Along with the marriage came three lovely bonus daughters and five grandchildren. My new family began to celebrate Thanksgiving together and it became a tradition to put up our Christmas tree and decorate it together on the evening following the Thanksgiving meal. After all, it was much easier to put up and decorate a tree with little boys begging to be the one putting the star on top, than it was to explain why grandma was too sad to have a tree. I began to look forward to this tradition. Suddenly, it became a time of pure joy for me! And this year, I found that it was a time of joy for them as well when one of those boys, now a teenager, asked if we were decorating the tree this year following the Thanksgiving meal. My heart rejoiced again and I renewed my thanks that God, had redeemed this sadness for me in such an incredible way.
I must tell you, we did not put up our tree this year.Not because I am sad, but it is because we have two kittens. I am also realizing that even without the tree, Christmas is no longer a time of sadness for me. Much like my life, it is something my savior has fully redeemed.
Isn’t that just like our loving father! Taking a time of pain and sadness and remaking it into an occasion for rejoicing!