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
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.