Monday, December 24, 2012

Oh Holy Night

Well, it’s Christmas Eve and David and I are driving to Pittsburgh, PA! We enjoyed the services at Northstar so much and hit the road afterwards! We will get in late, but I am really looking forward to spending Christmas with the Vogel family! This will be my first Vogel Christmas! I am so thankful to have two families to spend the holidays with!

I have always loved the holidays, and this year has been no exception. However, this season of our lives has been hard, to say the least. I would be lying to you if I said I haven’t been struggling over these past few weeks. I have questioned, doubted, been angry, cried, and been downright depressed at times.

Our visit to Vanderbilt was so encouraging. God really has paved the way for us. However, the reality of what we’re facing has crippled me at times. My longing to be a mother has not decreased, and my desire to live a long life of ministry with my husband is not diminished. These longings and desires tug at my heart and make me ache. Sometimes I find myself in complete shock. How did we even get here? 

My husband is amazing and talks through everything with me. He doesn’t judge me when I question. He is patient with me when I fall apart. He encourages me and reminds me to hope. He reminds me to “put on a garment of praise.”

Praising God in the midst of our storm has not been the easiest thing. I try desperately to tell God how much I adore Him, how much I trust Him, how much I love Him. Sometimes I struggle to quiet the questions I really want to ask God. The hurt feelings that I cannot hide.

“Why, why am I in this place?”
“Why haven’t you spared me from this?”
“It isn’t fair!”
“Where are you?” “Have you abandoned me?”
“Do you even love me?”
“Have you forgotten me?”

In one of my recent inner temper tantrums, I was reminded of the concept of advent. We have taught our preschoolers a lot this year about the importance of advent. The anticipation and waiting for Christ to come.

Just imagine the Jews in bible times waiting and waiting and waiting for a Savior. They knew He could come at any time. They put all of their hope in Him. When that child was born in a tiny manger, all of their hopes and dreams were fulfilled. I’m sure there were times though that they doubted. They may have thought, “He’s never coming.” “God has forgotten us.” “Do you even love us?” “Why do we have to wait so long?” I’m sure there were people that questioned God’s timing and plan. “A manger? Really?” But the fact that Jesus was their Savior never changed, even when they didn’t understand. Even when they didn’t see Him.

I do not understand why I must fight this disease while others don’t. I do not understand why the chemo didn’t work. I do not understand why I have to have a stem cell transplant and why my dreams of being a young mother are vanishing before my eyes. I may never know. As much as I want it to, it just doesn’t make sense

However, the fact that Jesus is my savior will never change. The fact that all of my hope is in Him is constant…no matter what my circumstances. I don't know why God allows certain things to happen, but I know that Jesus is my Savior. I know that the only real hope I have in all of this is Jesus. Whether He chooses to heal me in this life or not, my only hope is Jesus.

I will continue to offer a sacrifice of praise. I must trust the one who placed the stars in the sky. My Savior has come. He was born and died in my place so that I may live.

This Christmas remember that you do not have to wait! The long-awaited Messiah has already come! Praise the one who fulfilled all of our hopes and dreams on that holy night so long ago.

“O holy night the stars are brightly shining. It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ‘til he appeared and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees oh hear the angel voices. Oh night divine, oh night when Christ was born. Oh night divine, oh night oh night divine.”