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Merry Christmas!

The shepherds come forth with shining faces

The magi, hearts full of treasure, approach the shed

And behold, lying in the manger bed

A precious babe from Glory Land.

Merry Christmas, y’all! The above are just a couple lines that popped into my mind while writing this post. Thought I’d share them. They’re simple, but I think they capture a bit of Christmas, you know?

I hope everyone is having a beautiful Christmas. 2020 certainly wasn’t what any of us expected, but what ever is what we expect? To tell you the truth, I wasn’t too happy about 2020 at first, and I still find myself wishing things could have gone differently. But I thought in this post, it would be appropriate to share a few thoughts with you guys about this weird-year Christmas and the coming 2021.

Though a lot of horror came about in 2020, there was actually a lot of beauty in this year, too. I miss school and seeing my family and friends every day, but I’m just trying to pray and trust that they know I love them even if I can’t be there to give them a hug and tell them so. To be honest, this year has been my best as well as my worst, and to say the least, it’s a year I will never, never forget. It’s taught me so much and forced me to grow as a person, and I’m grateful for that.

I thought I’d share a little list of awesome things from 2020:

1. I finished the first draft of the first novel I’ve ever been passionate about – The Apostle’s Sister. It’s the novel that will always be dearest to my heart. It’s all about suffering and sacrifice and a little sister’s love for her brother. Honestly, writing the first draft, awful as it may be, was such a beautiful and emotional experience for me. I know St. Paul as a real person now, and that has been such a blessing. He has changed my life in so many ways, and now I know him even better, and it’s been an honor to write his story. Writing The Apostle’s Sister has taught me so much, and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world.

2. I donated blood for the first time – and quite frankly, I was terrified! But I survived, LOL. I’m really thankful I did it despite my horror of needles, because, well, donating blood for an hour is the least I can do for people who are suffering so much. I think after that experience, I’ve learned to focus less on myself and more on what I can give to others. So yes, 2020 brought me that lesson among many others!

3. I learned to appreciate my loved ones more. Sometimes you don’t realize what a great thing you have until it’s taken away. When the pandemic hit and I could no longer go to school, I realized that I had been taking for granted things like hugs and high-fives and shared laughter. I hope that when this is all over, we’ll all have learned to be a little kinder and a little more appreciative of one another.

So yeah, that’s my list. If any of you want to, I would love to hear any experiences you’ve had in 2020 that have taught you a little something!

Honestly, I think these experiences are my three Christmas gifts – my gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They’ve been lying under the tree waiting for me, and just now I realized that God’s good gifts come even in 2020, and I unwrapped them. I’m filled with peace this Christmas, and I pray the same for all of you. I honestly thought this Christmas would feel empty after this rocky year, but actually, this Christmas is going to mark a time when I will be a new person. That “babe from Glory Land” came to make me new, and he never fails. He’s succeeded once again.

During Advent, my church always ends with “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” as the benediction instead of the Lord’s Prayer. So why not do that here?

O come, o come Emmanuel

And ransom captive Israel

That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice, rejoice

Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Israel can stop mourning now. Because Emmanuel has come to her! *wild cheering and clapping and throwing hay into the air (if I had hay, which I don’t, LOL)

Blessings this Advent.

Joy

By Joy Caroline

Joy Caroline is a fifteen-year-old Seventh-Day Adventist Christian and Biblical fiction writer. Her two novels, The Apostle’s Sister and The Anointed, are about St. Paul from the perspectives of his sister and nephew. JC also enjoys reading, sketching, watching Hallmark's When Calls the Heart, and trying delicious desserts. You can find her at her website, joycarolineauthor.com.

6 replies on “Merry Christmas!”

Beautiful post, girl!!!!!!!! I LOVED IT!!!!!!!!! <33 I'm glad 2020 had a few goodies for you. XD I can TOTALLY say the same!!!!! God's definitely been teaching me a thing or two!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <33

I love the little poem in the beginning!!!!!!! I feel the same way – there was still good in 2020! It amazing to remember the blessings that God has given to us even in bad times! I will always remember the year 2020! Another amazing thing that happened in 2020 is that we both became bloggers!!!🙂 Thank you for sharing this post!!!

Thanks! Yes, blogging has been such a rewarding experience! That definitely is a good thing. I think I have much to appreciate about 2020, even though I hope 2021 will be somewhat less dramatic, lol. Glad you liked the post!

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