I didn’t know yet, but at the time I originally wrote this post, we had already lost our little baby. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve wrestled with this loss and have gone through a physical, hospital-induced miscarriage. We are broken, and sad, and sometimes a little lost–and how fitting that the last thing I wrote before learning this was a solid reminder that Christ came because we are broken and lost and desperate for Him.
You can read about our miscarriage (along with a solid reminder of the hope we still have in Christ) at my husband’s blog.
The original post is below.
Goodness, what a year! I know so many people had a hard time with 2016—from our messy national politics, to deaths in the family, to divorces or illnesses, this has been a hard year for many of us.
In the big scheme of things, this Christmas was easy for my family—blissful, even. Our marriage is thriving, our kids are healthy, and we are expecting a new baby this June. Our finances are steady, we are in a home we love, and are building into a community of friends we really enjoy and respect. And still, this season was a little hard, even for us.
The second half of the first trimester of this pregnancy was really hard on me, much harder than either of my other two pregnancies. Morning sickness really kicked my pants this time—and in addition to near constant nausea, I often felt like all I could successfully do was lie on the couch with my eyes closed, while my children ran wild around me. Fortunately, I began to feel much better a couple of weeks before Christmas, but at that point, we were behind on our shopping and advent planning.
I really like to make Advent a restful time, full of reflection for myself and intentionality with my children. But this year, that just didn’t really happen. We did our Jesse tree, but instead of spending time daily reflecting on Christ’s story throughout the whole Bible, we did a handful of stories here or there, when we remembered and had time. The stories were short, and usually not read from a Bible, but paraphrased by me for the kids. Our Christmas crafts were kept to an easy batch of polybead ornaments; we didn’t even touch the Truth in the Tinsel (talk about a bummer! That’s my favorite Advent activity!).
And due to illness in our extended family, we ended up postponing our Christmas Day dinner till after the New Year (though, it was a much less pleasant Christmas for my ill family members than it was for us!).
It was just an odd year.
And I know it’s been even more challenging for many of you. I know many friends who’ve had to fight through illnesses this season, who’ve had the stomach flu rage through all of their family members on Christmas Day. I know that navigating the challenges of extended family is exhausting and sometime heartbreaking. And I know that many have spent this season grieving and longing for the New Year.
But you know what? There’s no guarantee that 2017 will be better. We are fallen people, living in a broken world—and while there’s great symbolism in starting fresh with the turn of the calendar year, those key things won’t change. We will still be people desperately in need of a savior.
I have been thinking all holiday season that this is why Christ came. He came because we are broken, not in spite of our brokenness. He came to offer healing, and hope, and peace.
Christ came at Christmas, and now we can live!
What joy there is in that hope—a hope that miraculously exists now, alongside our brokenness, in our pain, in our challenges!
Thank God for Christmas and the promises of his Son!
May we remember that as we step into the new year.