A few weeks ago we spent a little time in Chico. As we walked past our old street I recounted some of our favorite memories. I told Izzy and Lucas how their Daddy and I used to pull them in the bike trailer to the park just around the corner, how Daddy introduced Izzy to her first Barbie movie and THAT was the Blockbuster they rented it from, and THIS was the place we always took her to eat chips and rice; one of Izzy’s favorite meals. Izzy absorbed each and every word I said and would periodically add in a little tidbit of what she remembered of those fond memories.
Simultaneously my heart was aching for our EV Free Church family in Chico as they had just experienced two significant losses within their church community. My heart is always heavy when I learn of others who are forced to wade through the muck and mire that is grief and loss. After all, that is one of my biggest fears; standing beside my loved ones as they suffer THIS type of profound pain. I would never wish it on my worst enemy.
After we placed our order for the chips and rice, I saw them out of the corner of my eye; the pastoral staff of EV Free including the pastor that had officiated Pete’s funeral. As I stood before them and expressed my deepest sympathies for their recent losses, one of them said, “And over the weekend two babies were born. That’s the beauty of life.” That statement touched me to my core. In the same moment that others were taking their last breath, new life was being breathed into existence. This is the beauty of the God we serve; the God of creation.
Today is December 1st. December has always been a big month for us. In THIS same month Pete was diagnosed with cancer, began chemo, and our two most precious blessings were given life. It is also the month in which we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The pain of this month, this holiday season, has the ability to shroud us in sadness as we remember the memories associated with the deterioration and loss of our beloved Pete. However, I am challenging myself to seek out the BEAUTY that is all around me. After all, what we focus on-we get more of. This year, I want less sadness and more HOPE. I can rejoice knowing that this season is a season of renewed hope, new memories, and new life. After all, Pete is also experiencing new life in his Heavenly home because he is no longer suffering like he was at this time last year. He has been made NEW. His new life is all because of the new LIFE that was given to us when Jesus Christ was born in a manger, bringing with him the GIFT of salvation, and the HOPE of eternal life.
We are all hurting in different ways but Jesus came to give us NEW life.
Which gifts have you been given this season?
What will you do to focus on those gifts?