For many years now my family has had many Christmas traditions. From plays, to concerts, to putting on our own Christmas program and many other things. One of my favorites is The Forgotten Carols. It’s a play about a man named John and he softens the heart of a nurse by teaching her the ‘forgotten carols’. The forgotten carols are songs we all don’t traditionally sing or hear. They are about people in the bible you don’t give much thought to like the Inn keeper who turned Mary and Joseph away and how he must have felt after learning who it was he turned away. It’s an amazing play and I recommend seeing it if you get a chance.
Two years ago today I was in a very different place in my life. I was starting to come to terms with the fact that I may never have children of my own and I was clinging on to my nieces and nephews to fill a void in my soul.
I hated the holidays- for years I literally dreaded the holidays. I cried most of the time and was in a bad mood a lot. Holidays are so hard for people who are longing for children of their own. I had always dreamt of Christmas’ when I would have my own children and watching them open presents and starting our own family traditions and it was just never happening for me.
Ok, back to my story, two years ago today I went to the forgotten carols with my family and got to meet Michael McLean-the man behind the music. I bought this little Christmas sign and had him sign it.
I walked away with a smile on my face and my new Christmas decoration in my hand. I turned to Tyson and he said ‘Look at you all happy!’ I said ‘Yes! Someday my children will be able to look at this sign and hold it-if I ever have any. ‘ As always he pulled me in close and said ‘We will! I promise!’ During the program there is a song called ‘Mary Let Me Hold Her Baby’ and every year it gets me. This particular year I was hurting more than ever. I am one who has always tried to not let my emotions truly show but this year everyone knew our pain. As Tyson and I cried our eyes out during this song my family grouped together and put their arms around us. They wanted so badly to fix the pain we felt but knew they couldn’t so they just held us and hurt with us. We didn’t want anyone to fix it and knew no one could. But we knew that we were not alone. We all cried together during that song. After that song Tyson got up and left to purchase me the most meaningful Christmas present I ever received-before the girls of course (To read more about this experience and the lyrics to this song read this blog post here)
Last year I was on bed rest so we didn’t attend, but last night we were able to go again. It was so important to me to be able to go this year because I am in such a different place. I wanted to hear that song and feel the feelings again and I did. I wanted to feel ok during the song for once. But I didn’t, It still made us cry. But this time it was different. I wasn’t crying for myself like I did those 8 long years. Last night my heart was hurting for everyone who has and is and will feel this pain. I cried for all of you. During this song I thought about all the messages I get daily of those struggling right now and I cried for YOU. I don’t know when your battle will end or honestly if it ever will. And just like my family two years ago I cannot fix it for you. But I can stand with you during your storm as a pillar of light and cry with you. I’m one who has been there before. Ive walked some variation of your path.
I stand here to tell you that it’s HARD! And it SUCKS! And I know your pain. I can attest that God DOES hear your pleas and prayers. Even when you truly don’t feel like he does, I promise you he is there crying with you, telling you to just hold on a little longer. You can do this! You will make it.
As I have said before and always will, your story is not my story. You may eventually get what you’re searching for and you may not in this life. You may get it in a different way than you expect or imagine. But it’s your story, and it will be perfect. Just keep your faith in God and our savior Jesus Christ and know that all will be made right someday.
Merry Christmas to all. Let the season be filled with love and charity and a remeberance of the reason for the season.