As I’m writing this blog post it is approximately 1:50 a.m. on (technically) Christmas day. I’ve just spent the last two hours watching a movie while drinking tea, and about two hours before that I was hugging my mom and brother and telling them “Merry Christmas.” It was a wonderful night, and I can’t stop smiling.
This is the first “normal” Christmas we have had in a long time. The years before this have been shaded with awkward post-divorce Christmas arrangements, arguments, slammed doors, and a lot of stress.
This year has been better, though. Tonight I went to a Christmas Eve service at church with my mom and brother. The mere fact that Deven went to church with us put a smile on my mom’s face that I haven’t seen in a long time. She kept taking him by the hand and introducing him to people that have been praying for him for months. It made me so happy to see her so happy, and it made me even happier that we were all together.
Later we came home and opened presents, all of us sitting on the floor by the tree. At one point I stopped and looked at my mom and my brother, both of whom were laughing. And in that moment, and in many others throughout the night, all I could think of was how blessed I am.
Tonight was an answered prayer. This is my last Christmas in Michigan for a while, and I’ve been praying for a peaceful Christmas. But more than that I’ve been praying for healing. Because as scared as I am of moving to England by myself, I’m more afraid that my mom and brother will still need me. I need to know that they are going to be okay.
And as simple as it sounds, tonight was an answer to both of my prayers. We had a wonderful Christmas, and as I looked at my mom and my brother tonight, I couldn’t find a trace of pain in their eyes. That doesn’t happen a lot, but it’s happening more and more.
I can’t expect everything to be perfect by time I move (or anytime, really). I’ve been telling myself and others that everything was going to be okay, “because I know God is in control.” The problem is that for so long I have said those words, but they rang hollow in my ears. I’ve been holding on to my mom and Deven. I’ve been holding onto my fear that I can’t fix them if I’m halfway across the world. I wasn’t afraid of leaving because I wasn’t ready; I was afraid of leaving because I wasn’t sure if they were ready.
We still have a lot of healing to do. I know that when I move it’s going to be hard for all of us. But tonight, in the midst of giggles and throwing wrapping paper at each other, I know we’re going to be okay.
And with that realization tonight I was hit with the words I’ve been avoiding: It’s okay to let go. They are going to be okay. I am going to be okay. Jesus didn’t come to this world for me to hold onto the things that I’m too afraid to let go of. He wants me to give him my everything. I thought I had done that, but I was wrong. I had given him myself, but I had not given him everything.
Tonight he showed me that he is working in this family. He is working in my mom. He is working in Deven. He is working in me. And as stubborn as I am, as painful as the growing process is and will continue to be, I am so thankful and blessed to know that the only one capable of holding us all in his arms is Christ. And I don’t know about you, but I’ pretty sure that is the best Christmas present we could be given.