What a special, sacred memory- my family’s first candlelight service at Bogey Hills Baptist Church. We are usually out of town when the service occurs on Christmas Eve. This year the service took place on the Sunday before Christmas Eve, so we were able to attend.
While I was thrilled to be with my church family at a time we had never been able to join before, my heart was also heavy knowing we would not see extended family this year.
Then, God did what only He can do and filled my aching with joy.
I watched Lincoln’s face as his little voice belted out “Gloria!” I felt Zachary’s hand slip into mine as we listened to Scripture. Gavin snuggled in close then I saw his eyes dance as he held his candle during “Silent Night”. As my heart longed for old traditions, it also found new space and birthed room for new memories.
Surrounded by light and joy and family- family not by our blood but by Christ’s- something beautiful occurred.
Instead of focusing on the loss of tradition this year, the Lord revealed something fresh and soul-warming. Even though I longed to be surrounded by our earthly families, I looked around and saw my husband, children, and myself part of a ring of light, enveloped by my Kingdom family.
And despite the disappointment faced this year, even though we didn’t buy as many presents, and we didn’t get to see everyone we would have loved to see, it was a very special Christmas. On Christmas Day, I gathered with all my boys around the table.
Suddenly, there were no babies at my table anymore.
We ate, we discussed, we prayed, and we truly enjoyed each other’s company. We spent the day together at home, a lot of the time even in the same room. Maybe in any other year, we wouldn’t have done this. But this year, good ole’ 2020, we were together and enjoyed it.
For all the challenges and bad things this year has brought, I am thankful it did bring one thing: Togetherness.
I will cherish the memories we made this Christmas, and this year. Only God can do such a beautiful thing in such an ugly year.
“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” Psalm 126:3