As I peruse my typical social media: instagram, friends’ blogs, cnn, I am reminded of the precious nature of this season. How lucky we are to be here, on this earth, and to enjoy life with people we love. And as I reflect on the past year, I can certainly say that it was one of the greatest and hardest years of my life. I experienced things during this year that brought me true happiness – and then other things that brought me true grief. I learned how to love fully, and I was given the gift of a fulfilled dream – even if it was just for a short bit of time. Because of these things, I will never forget this year of my life, the blessings it gave me, what it took from me, how it hurt, how it shaped me and who I transformed into because of it. I want to talk a little bit more about blessings on this Christmas when we reflect on the greatest blessing that is Christ’s birth.
I am learning, for some, a blessing is a gift under the tree. For others it is spending time with loved ones. It is a new job. It is the birth of a baby. It is a marriage. It is watching a child score a soccer goal. It is learning to read. It is a beautiful walk in the park. It is a plane ride to the beach. It is telling someone you love them. It is anything that we perceive as good and wholesome to our existence. I read, though, just today, about a blessing, or rather, a desired blessing, written on a blog of woman who is dying. She wrote these words, “I hope to be blessed to have the strength to stay through Christmas, so that my children can experience this day with their Mom. I hope to have the blessing of dying free of pain and without fear.” As I read those words, I realized the power of them. The power of hoping for a blessing of a painless and fearless end to life, an end to everything that holds the blessings we wish for, typically, much like those I mentioned above. This circles back to why Christmas is so special and so important, it is important because it reinforces the greatest blessing that ever was – the blessing that allowed us to have lives, to have journeys that can hold the experiences we perceive as beautiful and wonderful. Reflect on your blessings, and the greatest blessing, this Christmas Eve – the gift of Jesus and God the Father who gave us life.