To be perfectly honest, Christmas Eve was especially hard as I missed my mom A LOT! Last Christmas was three months after her death, so my heart was still in "shock" mode. But this year, "reality" hit as the second Christmas season came and went without the precious woman who gave me life. I will never spend another Christmas with my mom and my four amazing children won't get to experience all of her fun (and sometimes quirky!) gifts at Christmas. And I was especially sad that Jenna won't ever have one Christmas with her beloved Mimi.
But as I went to sleep thinking about her, I was reminded of the fact that she is in the presence of the One whom we are celebrating, in the presence of Jesus Christ, born a baby and yet a King. And as much as I long to see her for one more Christmas, there is no doubt in my mind that my mom would not want to leave her mansion in heaven for even one second.
In Psalm 30:11, God promises to turn our mourning into dancing. The mourning of my Christmas Eve turned into dancing on Christmas Day. This year was extremely special, having a fourth child to experience the joy and wonder of Christmas. I vividly remember reading in Russell Moore's book Adopted for Life three years ago about the hope of having another stocking hanging from the mantel at Christmas. And now, three years later, that hope has been fulfilled in our sweet Jenna Jean!
I can't help but think that Mary and Joseph also experienced some mourning as they traveled to Bethlehem on that Christmas Eve night so long ago. Joseph had been ostracized for being engaged to a pregnant woman, a woman who was carrying a baby that was not his "own" child. And Mary was deemed special in the eyes of God but my hunch is she was scared and possibly mourned the life she had prior to her encounter with the angel of the Lord.
Yet both Joseph and Mary walked in faith, trusting God would turn their mourning into dancing. And God definitely answered His promise! That first Christmas morning, Joseph and Mary got to cradle in their arms the very giver of that promise and dance for joy that their Messiah, the Savior of the world, had come. Emmanuel, God with us. WOW!!!
Thank you, Father, for keeping your promises. Thank you for turning my sad tears into happy tears. Thank you for coming as a baby and also as King. Thank you for being born so that we could live. Thank you for brining Jenna into our hearts and into our family. Thank you that she will hear the truth of Christmas for the rest of her life. AMEN.