So, I was talking on the phone with a dear friend. Her apartment complex had called her to let her know that her apartment had burned down...well, not completely, but it had severe smoke damage and her roommates room had caved in...
It was during this conversation that my misconceptions of Christmas took their final breath and died.
I hung up the phone and cried and cried.
I think what really threw me over the edge was that I had spent a good majority of the day by myself. I went grocery shopping by myself, I cleaned my apartment...I did other little tasks...things that didnt really need to be done necessarily, but it was seriously just like any other day. My family was busy with various things...my father was doing family obligation stuff, so was my sister....the cousins I normally think of at Christmas time were either overseas or had work obligations that kept them out of state....my dear grandfather was all alone hours away from me....I felt horrible. I cried and cried and I probably would have continued crying if katie hadnt happened to come home to pick up some presents to take to her parents house. She 'gathered me up' so to speak and took me off to her church's christmas eve service and dinner at her family's house afterwards. It was really sweet. It kept my mind off of things...but now I am home again, writing here to this blog which probably will not be read for some days, since MOST people dont spend Christmas on the computer ;-)
OK, so seriously now, even though I wouldnt say today has been "good"...I am grateful for it, I feel like its been a real turning point. I am realizing that I really DID think of this holiday as a time to spend with family, a time steaped in tradition ( the same christmas decorations, the same family, the same foods...the same music etc etc etc ) And while I still think that is a wonderful thing if you have it , I think its possible I put TOO much of my holiday cheer in these things.
This Christmas Season has been wonderful in that I've had a wonderful special time with a dear friend of mine who has spent me her thoughts on the Meaning of Christmas everyday this week...it has been a incredible blessing to meditate on such matters...it has been wonderful to listen to the Messiah at full blast and know that the prophecy it speaks of has truly come to pass...And yet, I really needed my little "guilty pleasures" stripped away to realize just how much they were still there...even though I knew in my MIND what this holiday was about, it was not yet written on my heart.
Its horrible actually to see how with each of those "missing pieces" ( the people, the places, the foods, the books, the activites) that this year lacked, I felt like my entire Christmas was gone. But, now I am seeing it restored again. And hopefully now I can find great joy in one fact and one fact alone....and this fact will be sufficient, and in this fact and this fact alone I am able to fully rejoice in this glorious day:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!