merry christmas for when you're sad.

i prayed that god would sanctify me.

i know that's a scary thing to pray, and it's not something that i usually have the cajones to ask for, but i just got to a point where i was all, i don't even care what it costs, god.  all i want is to be truly, deeply in love with you.  all i want is to be like you.  all i want is to bring you enjoyment and glory and happiness.  all i want is you.  so i prayed for it.

and lately, on the heels of that, i've found myself completely overwhelmed by everything going on in our world: the loss of family members, traveling across the state and then across the country for funerals, selling our house, finding todd a new job, leaving our friends and our church and my sister and the only community our marriage has ever lived in, and other things that i haven't even told you about yet.  and all of it during christmas.

and i think about how bittersweet this season has been for us: it has been an advent of truly focusing on the coming christ-child, and waiting for the amazing day when he comes back for us.  it has been an advent of very little talk of presents, and much talk of jesus.  but it has also been a season of great confusion and loss and fear.  and i tell god that this isn't how i thought it would go, and it's not how i thought he would answer my prayer.

but he reminds me that there is plenty of room in the christmas season for confusion and loss.  when mary was told she'd have the son of god, i'm sure she didn't imagine it would involve birthing him in a glorified latrine and later watching his murder.  christmas is bittersweet because the gospel is bittersweet: life can only come through death.

when that baby was born, he was born to die.  god the father sent us his son,  knowing that he would suffer great loss because of our depravity.  oh, there is so much joy in the gospel, that our god paid the exorbitant price for our sin so that we wouldn't have to; that god himself earned our righteousness for us and we are holy in the eyes of our god; that the only one powerful enough to conquer death was also loving enough to actually do it.

but there's sorrow and mourning at our wretchedness, that we reject the god who does this, that jesus went through all he did because he was taking on the death that we had earned for ourselves.  he didn't deserve that.   we did.

and i'm comforted this christmas season, knowing that feeling sad or confused or lost doesn't detract from the true spirit of christmas, but that it turns me toward the god who suffered great loss so that i could gain everything.


Anonymous said...


todd said...

many amens.
amen again.
the end.

in all seriousness, that was awesome. i love you my wife. i love that you love Jesus. i love that we share this season as more than friend, more than spouses, but as servants of God by faith in Jesus.

whenjeskasparks said...

so good. i'm reposting your last few paragraphs on tumblr (with credit, obvs). i love you. <3