When I was a child the door between the hallway and the living room had a lock on it. After we fell asleep on Christmas Eve, Santa came to magically put gifts under the tree (what? Don’t judge me…I still believe!). My parents, who had put plenty of their own gifts for us under the tree, very wisely locked that door. My brother and I were up long before the sun on Christmas morning and would sit at the door in anticipation of what might be on the other side.
When my parents woke up they didn’t just fling open the door and reveal all, rather dad slipped through the door while mom waited with us. Dad turned on the lights of the tree (and the video camera) and started the Christmas music….then he called to us…”It is time…it is ready.”
My mom would open the door and the wonder of Christmas morning would be revealed, and it was magical! Christmas twinkle lights, packages, bows, and lots and lots of love. After weeks of anticipation and waiting…finally what they had planned, worked on, and carefully envisioned for our happiness and joy was revealed. Even now all these years later, I remember certain gifts that I treasured, moments in time that are captured in my mind and heart long after the things themselves are gone.
I’m all grown up now…and the things on my list have changed a bit. I have a “grown up Christmas list”. Mostly what I have wanted was a place to call home, to be surrounded by friends and for my worlds to all be in one place for even just a moment. I have pursued these desires down wrong paths and made poor choices trying to find even a substitute for it…but all substitutes were mediocre at best and left me aching for what I could never regain. I spent countless nights weeping, alone, and begging God for a life that seemed just out of reach.
Friday night, December 7, 2012.
The scene looked a little different this time. The door between the outside world and my home was locked. The table was laid with snacks and treats. The house was clean. As I turned on the twinkle lights on the tree my heart once again lit up in anticipation. This time it was me that unlocked the door, yet the expectancy of that moment took me back to my childhood memories, as I breathlessly waited to see what the night might hold. As, I opened the door and sat waiting for the first guest to arrive I heard my Heavenly father whisper to my soul….”It is time…you are ready”. And the party started.
My home was filled with laughter, music, friendship, a few packages and bows and lots and lots of love as 60+ people showed up to warm my home and celebrate the season. My worlds collided as friends from Kenya, Hong Kong, Baptist Bible College, Hardin Simmons, work and church filled my home and met one another. As I looked down from the landing of the stairs at the scene in front of me my heart was bursting with joy. After years of anticipation and waiting, finally, what He had been planning, working out in me and carefully envisioning for my good and His glory was revealed. Every moment of that night is a gift that will be treasured, moments in time that are captured in my heart and will remain long after this season is over.
Today is 12/12/12 – It looks a lot different than I imagined, these days I ‘m finding this true more often than not. But it is better and greater than I could have ever imagined. I am happy, I am loved, I am blessed with beautiful friends and family. My cup runneth over and I am thankful.