I wanted to share with everyone just how much this Christmas means to me, and why. It’s easy to get caught up in the glamor and materialism of the Holiday season, and I’m even guilty of this too. But it’s important to go back and think about what Christmas really means to you…
I have so many reasons to be thankful this year. This year has been a very successful year, a trying year, and a transforming year for me. I’m no longer bound to my past mistakes, I’ve let go of a destructive and degrading lifestyle, I know what I want to do with my future and I’m on my way there.. in general, my life is on the right track and if I look back, this is a complete 180 from where I was last Christmas.
But I couldn’t have done it alone. Last Christmas, I had lost all sight of who I was, I was doing whatever I could to numb the pain and emptiness I was feeling, with little to no success whatsoever.
Then I read a blog post. The words were something like, “For many of you, 2010 was a year of heartache, of loss, of suffering. Maybe you lost a loved one, lost a job, lost your trust in God. Maybe some of you suffered through medical conditions, or have gone through an emotional battle with a loved one, with your spouse, with your family, or with yourself.” He kept pouring out scenarios that shot right into me as I felt the pain of my failure and sadness overwhelm me. Then he made a comparison that I’ll never forget. That the candles we held up in church, was just like the star of Bethlehem, and that even in that darkest hour on that night, in our darkest hours, there is a light to guide the way. There is a light that is waiting to fill us with joy, happiness and peace, and that light is Jesus Christ, and that light began with His birth in that little stable.
When I read that, I finally let go of the pain I’d been holding inside for so long. I would stop trying to fix things myself. I would stop making a mess of my life by going about everything on my own. Instead, I resolved to trust in him once again, build a relationship that I somehow had let go of over the years. And it was the best decision I’ve made.
Did I mess up still? Absolutely. It took me about half a year to get my act together, but I was making an effort, and in the end, I finally decided that I had spent too much time trying to hold onto things that were hindering my relationship with God. A lot of those things were relationships I had with people and bad influences…even my own bitter, self-loathing mindset had to go. I had to let go of all the bad things that I was so used to being a part of my life, things also known as sin.
But when I did, God blessed me in so many ways. My relationship with my family improved and increased tenfold. I know without a doubt that God has placed my family and friends in my life and we need each other as much as we bring each other joy.
I also have so much more self respect than I did last year and confidence too. “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (Psalm 139:14) And as I got my life on the right track, I started realizing that when I looked in the mirror, I was finally able to look at myself with pride.
When I look back to this time last year, I feel like someone completely brand new and different. I look forward to each day, I live life to the fullest, instead of always seeing the cup half empty. I have a million things to be thankful for, and really, it all started with the greatest Christmas gift that anyone could ever receive— God’s eternal love and grace that was brought into this world over 2000 years ago. And this Christmas I can celebrate that gift and rejoice in all the good that it has brought into my life. So for me? Christmas means that I am free to be part of God’s wonderful and amazing plan for my life and I am no longer held down by my past mistakes. And that is most definitely something to celebrate. Christmas is more than Santa Claus, more than presents, more than trees, more than new clothes, it is about the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ who laid His life for us. Today, we celebrate His birthday.
So, Merry Christmas, my friend 🙂
God bless you.