Why Celebrate Christmas at All?

27 Dec

Do you know how ready I am for 2012 to get here?  So ready that I took down my 2011 calendar yesterday and put up my 2012 one.  Some people would call that wishing your life away.  I call it looking forward with great anticipation and EXPECTATION to brighter days.  :)

I love these St. Jude Calendars. They help me put it all in perspective.

This was a tough Christmas.  I felt conflicted and my heart kept flip-flopping between wanting to celebrate because of everything we’ve gone through (and are going through), yet our faith in God is stronger than before, but feeling that a celebration this year was out of place because of all we’ve gone through.

How do you celebrate when you’ve lost someone so very special as we did with my brother-in-law, Phil?  How do you celebrate when your heart is heavy because your sister’s heart has been ripped open so badly that the wound will take years to heal?  How do you celebrate when you have cancer, thought you were almost done with treatment, but are now facing two years of maintenance chemo?  How do you celebrate when the local news tells you that an innocent little four-year old child was beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend just days before Christmas?  How do you celebrate when so many of your friends and family are struggling with issues this big…and bigger?

Maybe the question is not how, but why.  Why do we celebrate Christmas?

We celebrate because Christmas is not about US and what we’ve accomplished or endured or survived or even lost.  Christmas is about what we’ve gained through the birth of Jesus Christ.

Yes, Phil is gone and we will not see him again this side of heaven, BUT because of Jesus we know we will see him again.

Yes, my sister is grieving and will continue to grieve for days and months to come, BUT because of Jesus we have hope that her mourning will turn to dancing.

Yes, I have cancer and some days the thought is overwhelming, BUT because of Jesus I do not need to fear because God is with me through all things.

Yes, that little boy is no longer living here on Earth, BUT because of Jesus he is playing today in heaven without fear of being beaten ever again.

This is why we celebrate Christmas.  In the midst of our hardest, toughest, most challenging days – we have Jesus.

♥ Rachel

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4 Responses to “Why Celebrate Christmas at All?”

  1. IamSimplyTia December 27, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    Amen! And with Jesus comes hope! You can do all things through Christ who will continue to strengthen you. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas Day. And I, like you, am anxiously awaiting 2012. I know big things are in store for me.

    Cheers to 2012.

    Have a beautiful day Rachel

    • rachturner December 28, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

      Tia – I hope you had a beautiful Christmas, too! 2012 is going to be a great year for us all!!

  2. Julie Kendall December 27, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    You nailed it when you went from how to why we celebrate. I went through a time when I couldn’t seem to find any reason to feel hopeful about anything in this world. It was as if the enemy wanted me to see every evil thing he has ever done and then to FEEL that evil through a level of empathy that was almost too much to handle. It nearly crushed me. Then slowly….so verrrryyyyyy slowly…God started showing me how to live beyond my circumstances. How to find peace and….yes…even joy, when nothing in my world had changed. Things were still hard with no reason to believe they would get better soon (still are actually). By taking my mind outside of the events of TODAY and looking at things through the scope of eternity (realizing that God works outside of time) allowed me to slowly begin to trust Him….even with the horrible hurts of this world. To trust and have hope in my eternity rather than what I think this world should be now. The enemy wants us to put all our hopes and dreams into this world we live in now. That way…when it fails us (and it ALWAYS will because he has been given rein over it) we feel as if God has failed us. When…in fact….God never told us to put our hopes and dreams into this broken place but to find our safety in Him. It’s been the hardest journey I’ve taken to date but well worth it. I hurt for you and your family. I know some of their pain by experience and I understand the depth of grief that seems as if you are living as though you’ve been buried alive. It’s horrible. But I am here to say that it DOES get better w/ time. It’s a slow healing. I likened it to the way a burn victim heals. The wound is allowed to “scab” over for a short time but then must be ripped off and cleansed to allow the healing to go deeper. This is done over and over until the healing is as deep as the wound. Then the person is truly whole again. Scarred yes…but scars are just reminders…not actual wounds…and they can be lived with.

    Trust Him w/out trying to figure out why and how. It’s the only way for peace to do it’s thing! Love you so much!!!

    • rachturner December 28, 2011 at 9:16 pm #

      Julie – There is so much wisdom packed into that “little” comment you left. Hard-earned wisdom, I know. Living beyond our circumstances – THAT is the tough part, but like you said, if we can focus on the eternal and not the immediate, we can actually find peace. I believe that like you do. I think your words mean so much to me because you familiar with this specific road we are on. Isn’t it amazing that God brought us together more than, what, 27 years ago knowing that our journeys would share so many similarities? He is so good. YOU mean the world to me. I love you, my forever friend.

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