I had so many plans for the holidays. I was going to create special traditions and happy little moments and somehow the season was going to sparkle.
But instead of decorating a Christmas tree on the day after Thanksgiving like I wanted, I was facing off with my new son. We were sitting there, right at the dining room table, and he was lying and I was saying over and over, “We’re not moving from this spot until truth is spoken. Here we speak truth and you will take responsibility and you will face this mistake and I will be right here with you the whole entire time and it’s all going to be okay.”
And instead of hanging twinkly lights, I was holding his hand and saying, “My son, what are you afraid of? Why are you angry?”
And instead of carefully brushing off my box of memory-ornaments, I was listening as he cried and said he was afraid of making mistakes and he just didn’t know if we would still love him.
So I said, “You’ll only know for sure if you admit your mistake and then see if I still love you when you’re done.”
And it was the most beautiful “Christmas” moment of all time.
He spoke truth and I rejoiced and thanked him for trusting me and we hugged and danced around the kitchen. While he was working through his consequences for lying, we sent each other little smiles that were brighter than any Christmas lights around.
And while he is learning to trust his new family, I am learning, slowly but surely, to stop dreaming and to start living.
Isn’t it funny how we learn the same lessons over and over again… just in different places with different pieces?
It’s the lesson I was learning through infertility… the one I was so slow to understand. I needed to stop dreaming and start living the life God had given me. It was that lesson that produced the Christmas book that came out this year (which, incidentally, is the ONLY Christmasy thing I’ve managed to produce this year.)
It was the lesson of being present and trusting God that “right here” is really, actually “very good”.
That didn’t mean I had to stop hoping.
In fact, I really, truly, completely HOPE that the day will come when my children have healed enough to enjoy the holiday season with me… with all my little nostalgia inducing traditions. But right now is life—not then. So I want to learn to embrace the right now.
And right now? I’m just excited when my two children who can fight so bitterly and brokenly, can sit right down on the kitchen floor with me and practice saying to each other, “You are worthy of love. God created you. He put you in our family. And You. Are. Worthy. Of. Love.”
And we’re celebrating Christmas—the coming of Emmanuel, God-with-Us, in our home and our hearts.
I don’t know where you are in your journey—whether wandering through singleness or childlessness or crawling through the trenches of raising babies or the craziness of teenagers or the loneliness of an empty nest, or maybe, like me, you are struggling to teach your adopted children about true love—but I do know that when you stop and embrace the “right here”, you will find that God is present, just like He promised.
And dear one? It’ll be good.
It may be hard. It may be sorrowful. It may be painful.
But it will also be good.