Christmas Eve

You know that look mamas have on Christmas morning as they watch their babies open their presents while they sip their coffee and try to keep their hearts from exploding?

That look makes me cry.

Tomorrow morning, someone will look at me that way. Someone will notice how my right pajama pant leg is pushed up further than the left and the funny way my hair it sicking up at the crown of my head. Someone will notice the way my eyes crinkle when I’m trying not to smile and how my cheeks redden when that smile starts to produce tears and I’m trying to keep them from falling from my eyes and betraying me.

Tomorrow morning, someone will kiss my forehead and cup my cheek in their hand and smile lovingly at me. They will invite me to curl up with them on the couch and rest my head on their shoulder. They will call me daughter. We will watch the rain/wind/blue sky outside and talk together about how beautiful this world is with all its intricacies and perfect imperfections.

When I think about what I don’t have, it makes me cry. This time of year is really, really hard.

And yet, somehow, this time of year is also my favorite.

Hard is somehow easier to manage when it’s coupled with magic and hope, both of which seem more palpable this time of year.

And with every hard thing, every hurt and empty place, I am reminded that is why He came. He came so that we wouldn’t have to live broken and alone. We wouldn’t have to feel unwanted or unloved. He came to banish despair and shine a light on all the places where we thought there was no hope.

Every pain, every sorrow, reveals to me another way He is beautiful.

I have cried a lot lately. I am very teary. I cry in my car, in the pet food aisle at the grocery store, in the kitchen making tea, while in bed playing Solitaire…

And it’s funny to me, and beautiful, how when I cry because my heart feels shattered, I suddenly feel God stirring in there. As real as a mom might feel her baby in her womb, I feel the Holy Spirit swelling within my heart, breathing warmth and love- a hug from the inside. And suddenly my tears are not tears of pain and heartbreak, but tears of an entirely different sort. Joy. Peace. Hope. The truth that I am loved.

I know what it’s like to belong nowhere. To feel like no one has room for you.

And I know that God is near to the broken-hearted.

And when God is near, having a broken heart doesn’t seem like the worst thing in the world.

Thank you, Lord, that You came.

I will never stop being amazed at how much You love me.

Happy birthday.

I love You.

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