Filling In The Christmas Blank
The Christmas season can be………
*full of rejection
*full of reminders of happier times
*full of reminders of losses we’ve suffered
Did you find yourself in any of those fill-in-the-blanks? I sure did. And mostly the good ones, because I really DO love the Holidays. I LOVE being reminded that Jesus beat all the odds in being born, that His birth was and still is a really big deal, and that I, you, me, WE are HIS purpose! His love saved us from the very pits of hell. He BECAME sin in order that we might have eternal life with the Creator Of The Universe. I LOVE sharing those truths with my kids and the Nativity store is where it all begins. I LOVE emphasizing the joy of the season and baking a gazillion cookies in the process.
But some of those not so happy fill-in-the-blanks rear their ugly heads too and threaten to derail all the warm and fuzzy stuff. Right now I am really pushing through some HEAVY DUTY rejection. Maybe you are too. Maybe we’re in this together. Mine is from the last person on planet earth that I would expect it from. And the nail in the coffin of our relationship was the blank Christmas card she sent me. OUCH. This is not completely out of the blue: a year ago I discovered that she had changed her FB status to “engaged”, which prompted me to call her immediately to get the scoop. The person on the other end of the line was icier than the 17 degree car I was sitting in and even after an hour and a half I wasn’t sure what I had done to exact such vitriol and anger. Our communication since then has been one sided, with me doing all the pursuing, and when I can get her on the phone, it’s just as cold, indifferent, and icy as it was that freezing December evening in the car. I tried calling her on Thanksgiving but got no response or return phone call, so I called her again a couple of days later, only to have her not even ask one thing about us or the kids until we had been talking for well over an hour. No care for our son, who had just undergone yet another major surgery, and within five minutes of that she said she needed to get off the phone. OUCH. I understand that this person is broken. I understand that she endured five lifetimes of pain before I ever came into the picture. I understand that she is full of so much insecurity and self-doubt that she can’t the beauty of her own grandkids. But seeing something for what it is doesn’t stop you from feeling like you’ve just been sucker punched. Again. (hey, my abs should be ROCK hard by now, doncha think??!) I think it’s time to bless and release her to the care of God as I understand Him.
So what do you do? I focus on all the positive things in my life and all the positive people, of which I have many. I am very blessed. We are very blessed as a family. I try really hard to not let the rejection define who I am as a person, as a wife, as a mother, as a human being. But it is not easy by any stretch: I have to stop myself from my number one reflex in these situations, which is to justify my existence, to somehow prove that I AM loveable, that I’m worth being around, that’s it not my fault she’s always been angry at me. I no longer allow myself to go down that extremely well-worn road that is littered with the true, but ignored arguments of, “But I’ve been a GOOD daughter: I never smoked, drank, went out with boys, never did drugs of ANY kind! I was a two-letter athlete, I played in the school orchestra, I graduated from college with honors, yada, yada, yada…….” You know, all the trophies from the attics of our hearts that we pull out in a vain effort to show people that they really shouldn’t reject us. So aside from the physical workout I’m getting by actually trying to stay on an exercise schedule this Holiday season, I’m also getting a psychological workout by NOT falling into old destructive emotional patterns. Who was that guy on Saturday Night Live? He would stand in front of the mirror and say, “By golly you’re a good person and you’re worth it”…..or something like that. I’m kind of like that guy. Only with God’s promises to back me up, which helps. A whole lot.
The fact is that while we celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world, the enemy is hard at work to steal every ounce of joy he can. He’s the accuser. His soul purpose in ANY situation, but certainly Christmas where it’s so emotionally charged with how people “should feel”, is to rob us of peace of mind, contentment, satisfaction, the simple ability to “be”. And most importantly, his job is to take our eyes off of Jesus. I don’t know where you’re at in all of of this, but if you’re like me, you’re trying to rest in the knowledge that Jesus really does have your “this”. He’s got this life, He IS the answer for mankind’s questions. He has always been The Way, The Truth, and The Life. We are not alone in this world because He came to save us from the darkness that surrounds us in this world. He can’t take away the unsigned card but He can take all the rejection and pain that it brings.
Some will read this and say, “Wow, WAY TOO MUCH personal information for a blog!”. I say, “why write anything in a public forum unless you’re going to try to be real?” Still others will say, “Sounds like “Whine Fest 2013 to me”. Nope, not whining at all. No one owes me anything and I’m not entitled to be loved by even my own mother, but I can still admit my foot hurts when a bus runs over it. I hope that with whatever negative or painful circumstance you’re forced to deal with this season, you know you’re not alone. Our hope is with us. I’m going to let Him sign the card and find strength in His grace and mercy.