Christmas of Contradiction

Merry Christmas,

I pray you had a wonderful and beautiful stress free day, full of love and laughter.

This holiday season has felt off to me for some reason. Perhaps it was my declaration to the world, my intent to have a stress free Christmas. I have experienced opposition to my stress free lifestyle.

I experienced a financial disappointment in the midst of blessing.

I mourned the passing of a former co-worker while celebrating a wedding.

I stood in the gap for a friend, while celebrating an ordination and a graduation.

My role on my church’s council ended, while my role as leader of a non-profit began.

My Son didn’t come for Christmas for the first time, while my daughter came home for the first time since she got married.

Yesterday, as we opened presents and laughed, we worried we may have to take my youngest son to the ER.

It was a season of contradictions. Opportunities to celebrate. Opportunities to mourn.But As I reflect upon this Christmas season, I realize it is no different than any other season of life. Life has ups and downs, victories and defeats. But we get to choose how we see life. We get to choose what we reflect upon. Despite the craziness of this season, my daughter and I agree, it was one of the best Christmases ever and would have been perfect if my son were here. We chose to focus on the good. We chose to celebrate what God did and not the enemy’s attempts to distract us.

As Christmas has drawn to an end, most of us will now begin to think about the New Year. We will reflect upon 2018, our failures, our disappointment, our victories, our successes. But remember, ultimately, you get to choose how you will remember 2018. I bet if you ask the Holy Spirit to show you 2018, you will see there were more victories than disappointments. Choose to recall the victories. Choose to go into 2019 with hope.

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