I got off the phone with my mom. Put my cell down and started to cry. Due to finances and work schedule, I had just made the decision to not go home for Christmas. This was going to be my first Christmas EVER without my parents. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy with this prospect. In His kindness, God met me in that moment. As I sat at my desk crying, (Hoping my coworkers wouldn’t walk in as I was a puddle of tears) I was reminded that Christmas was what I chose to make of it. I don’t remember the exact words, but it went something like, “You can mope around and be sad and this can be your worst Christmas ever. OR. You can create your own traditions and memories and make this Christmas special, in spite of the sadness.” So, simple, yet so much truth. I decided to do just that! I wiped my tears away, prayed for grace, and began planning my December. I was still sad, but I decided to embrace this new season God had ordained and make the most of it!
I’m so glad I did. I’m not gonna lie, it’s still sad. And I’m not really looking forward to waking up on Christmas Day without my folks. But, God’s faithfulness, kindness, and care this season has been out of the park amazing! Let me elaborate. :)
First off my parents were able to come up and see us (my siblings and I) the first part of December. We were able to celebrate Christmas together and I was able to watch Ernest Saves Christmas with my dad. (We both love it and it makes me too homesick to watch it, unless I watch it with him.) This trip wasn’t planned when I made the decision to not fly home for Christmas. Celebrating Christmas together was a HUGE blessing!
I was able to attend several different Christmas parties (and a White Christmas movie night) this December. At each party I was reminded of the wonderful friends and community I am blessed to be a part of. I felt so loved, cared for, and included. If you’re single, you know what a big deal that is! It’s easy to feel like the odd man out at parties (especially when you’re an introvert). My church family excels at making me feel so loved and cared for. And this Christmas season, I have felt especially loved. And it’s meant the world to me!
I carried on my mommy’s tradition and made Christmas cookies and candy for presents. We’ve been making a specific sugar cookie recipe since I was 5 and it’s so much fun to continue that tradition! Since I make so many cookies and then paint each one, I invited two of my “adopted nieces” to come over and paint with me. I did their nails for Christmas, we painted cookies, watched Christmas cartoons, and then went to my town’s Christmas parade. It was SO much fun!
My siblings and I are making a full day of festivities tomorrow. Which includes lots of food, fun, presents, and going to see the new Hobbit. A family in the church is having me over for Christmas dinner on Christmas Day. I’m baking some pretty awesome sounding cakes. It’s gonna be a good two days.
As December winds down, I’m very aware of a few of things.
- My Heavenly Father loves me and is very involved and aware of my life. Truth I know in my head, but it’s been so encouraging to be reminded of this fact in very tangible ways.
- My church family is incredible! I love them so much! They aren’t perfect and I may even disagree with them from time to time. But they’re the folks God has allowed me to live my life with. And I wouldn’t have it any other way!
- By God’s grace, even a crappy situation can be awesome. I’m struck how looking for the best in a situation can totally turn that situation into a beautiful thing. It doesn’t change the sadness. But, trusting God and being content in the situation He has put me in, is a beautiful thing. Choosing faith. Choosing trust. Choosing to move forward. Choosing to look for the good. It’s been an incredible and even joy-filled experience. I’m once again reminded that contentment isn’t being happy about a situation, but choosing to trust God in it. It’s trusting and being at peace in His wisdom and timing.
So as they say in the UK…