As we end our Christmas Day here in Guam, most of our family and friends are waking up to begin theirs.
We had fun Saturday evening with friends and didn't end up opening gifts until we returned home at almost 11pm! Christmas program at church this morning and a quiet family day together. It has been rather uneventful and was probably the most low-key Christmas we have had in forever.
Thank you for praying for us! I only had one sobbing breakdown after Austin and Noah opened their gifts... It just went by too quickly and peacefully. I cherish their thank you's and hugs and kisses after each gift. And I wish that there was a rowdy 7yo blonde boy in the mix to liven things up and maybe cause a little trouble. The days leading up to this weekend were definitely more difficult than the weekend itself-- and for that I am thankful.
We never stop missing Christian, but praise God that it has gotten a little less hard over time. Learning to live joyfully side by side with sorrow is indeed a gift and only possible through God's mercy and grace.
I also want to ask you, dear friends, to please continue to pray for the Sims family as they mourn the loss of 4yo Josiah Courage, who passed away earlier this week.
My heart is so heavy for them.
The following excerpt from Streams in the Desert ministered greatly to my heart on our first Christmas without Christian.
A few years ago a striking Christmas card was published, with the title, "If Christ had not come." It was founded upon our Savior's words, "If I had not come." The card represented a clergyman falling into a short sleep in his study on Christmas morning and dreaming of a world into which Jesus had never come.
In his dream he found himself looking through his home, but there were no little stockings in the chimney corner, no Christmas bells or wreaths of holly, and no Christ to comfort, gladden and save. He walked out on the public street, but there was no church with its spire pointing to heaven. He came back and sat down in his library, but every book about the Savior had disappeared.
A ring at the doorbell, and a messenger asked him to visit a poor dying mother. He hastened with the weeping child and as he reached the home, he sat down and said, "I have something here that will comfort you." He opened his Bible to look for a familiar promise, but it ended at Malachi, and there was no gospel and no promise of hope and salvation, and he could only bow his head and weep with her in bitter despair.
Two days afterward he stood beside her coffin and conducted the funeral service, but there was no message of consolation, no word of a glorious resurrection, no open heaven, but only "dust to dust, ashes to ashes," and one long eternal farewell. he realized at length that "He had not come" and burst into tears and bitter weeping in his sorrowful dream.
Suddenly he awoke with a start, and a great shout of joy and praise burst from his lips as he heard his choir singing in his church close by:O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold Him, born the King of Angels,
O come let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord.
Let us be glad and rejoice today, because "He has come." And let us remember the anunciation of the angel, "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10-11).
Merry Christmas from Guam!
And Merry Christmas from me! :-)
Thank you, Lord, for coming down in humble form to give us a future and a HOPE!