Christmas Eve EvePosted: December 23, 2017
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I can hardly believe it, can you? This last month passed in the blink of an eye! I am just now stopping to gather my thoughts.
As I write this, I am currently sitting in a Panera staring out the window at the falling snow. I’ll probably regret this decision as I’m driving home later but for now, I’m enjoying the view.
It’s been a strange few months…Ben and I are settling in to our new home.Still, calling Rochester “home” still feels odd. We have had some really neat opportunities come our way but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss our friends, family and the different traditions we’ve had with them. One moment I’m so happy we are here and the next I still feel we are so out of place.
Christmas is different this year. Not that that is a bad thing, it’s just feels foreign, unfamiliar.
An example of this is that I am leading worship for tomorrow’s service. This is my happy place, my comfort zone and one of my favorite ways to serve and connect with not only God, but also other people. It is easier for me to build relationships making music than it is doing almost anything else. And yet… I miss my old worship team. They were my tribe, a second family. It’s very bittersweet. I’m already bonding with this group yet it feels so strange singing with new faces.
Everyone here has been wonderful. I know it is just going to take some time, but it makes for an interesting balance.
This morning, I was so excited thinking about church tomorrow and spending Christmas with my family (who are now only an hour and a half away!) and then I went to check our PO Box. It was filled with cards from people from our old church and two packages from some of our closest friends.
I got in my car, opened and read a few of the cards and promptly burst into tears. I don’t even know why! As bad as it sounds, I just wasn’t expecting it.
Moments like this one make it hard.
These moments make it feel like we walked away from our people. And in many ways, I suppose we did. But then I think about some of the circumstances we left behind and I am reminded that we are here for a reason and we absolutely made the right choice. So, we are continuing to trust God as we look ahead.
I guess I am writing all of this to say that yes, we are so glad to be here, in our new home…but we are still adjusting. Change–no matter how good–is never an easy thing and I want to be authentic about where we are in the process.
Overall, I think I am just incredibly humbled by how well we have been loved by people in this new home and in the last one. When I stop and think about it, I am completely overwhelmed.
It can be very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas and shopping and programs…but I want to take a moment and remind myself (and you, reader, if you don’t mind) why we even celebrate this holiday. As I think about how wonderful people have been, I cannot help but remember that God is even more so!
One of my favorite verses in Scripture is John 1:14, which reads, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (NKJV).
The word “dwelt” literally means Jesus literally came and tabernacled among us. He set up camp here–and made a home here!–to be with US. And He still does that today, as long as we are willing. It means that we have to humble ourselves. It means that we die to self and we choose to follow. But it also means that we are loved beyond our wildest dreams and that we are never alone. It takes my breath away.
As I go over the last year, especially the last three or four months, I cannot help but see how much God has shown up for us. Even in the moments when I felt alone, He came through, whether it was receiving a text or getting a mailbox full of Christmas cards. Or just feeling that peace that comes from knowing that we are taken care of by the Creator of the Universe.
If you are struggling today, know that you are not alone. Know that you are so loved. And that God is with you.
Immanuel. God. With. Us.