child and nativity scene

This week’s Faith Jam at The Faith Barista is on our dreams for Christmas.

At first, I wasn’t going to write anything because I don’t have any dreams for Christmas this year.

We went through the motions for the kids two years ago. It was just 2 months after our oldest daughter had died, and I all I could muster for the kids was a tree. We barely decorated. I was numb when I wasn’t crying.

Last year, my spirit was flattened by pain and depression. It was like laying on my back at the bottom of a deep well, barely able to see light at the top, let alone try to reach it.  I knew I should find hope in Christmas. In fact, I was desperate for epiphany…. but in retrospect, I realize I was looking for a gilded rope promising a smooth ride up and out of my pit.

You can’t force epiphany. And hope isn’t always gilded and glowing. Sometimes hope is gritty, bare-knuckled clinging to the slimmest of holds, forget about climbing upward.

This year? I’m climbing. I have no idea how far I’ve come. I don’t know how much more lies ahead. Nor do I know whether I’ll reach the top in this life… it seems so distant. But I’m moving, and my direction is up.

I walked the treadmill this morning with this CD by Christa Wells playing. and I hid my tears behind flopped hair and pretended I was wiping sweat with my towel. The words to “On the Mountain” describe this year well:

I’ve been climbing my whole life
and I’m only at the bottom of the mountain,
at the bottom of the mountain

Rising up from my feet
in the daylight
rising up into the clouds and out of my sight
is the height of that mountain

Well my hands cannot reach it
and my mind can’t comprehend it
but my soul is gonna get there one day
Well my hands cannot reach it
and my mind can’t comprehend it
but my soul is gonna get there one day

All along this road
when it feels  so far to the top
you say, just hold on to the mountain

(Want to hear it? “On the Mountain” is track 9 below. If you like, come back tomorrow — I’m giving away five “Frame the Clouds” CDs.)

Oh, and guess what! Today? On the treadmill? Epiphany.

I realized that this year, my hope for Christmas is peace.

Peace.

Internal calm in the place of turmoil.

Contentment with where God has me instead of thrashing against it.

Confidence that the words at the top of this blog are true: I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

The angels promised it when they announced Jesus’s birth:

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

I’m clinging to their promise this Christmas.

What are your hopes for Christmas this year? Interested in what others wrote? Click the badge below to read Bonnie’s post and find the linky with more submissions.

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