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Monday, December 8, 2008

Thoughts of Christmas



It's late and I should be in bed, but there seems to be a build-up of thoughts and feelings lately that have corroded my sleeping habits. So, I gently laid a kiss on Marc's cheek and rolled myself back out to the Christmas tree with it's welcoming, white glow.

I've always loved the peacefulness of the Christmas tree. Right now ours just has the lights on it. We haven't pulled any of the other decorations out yet. It's been a slow start this year. Just as we were warned, the holidays have added a new layer of difficulty. 

There are the obvious reasons - mainly, the dreams we had of how Thanksgiving and Christmas would be with our twins. We had so many dreams... and really, we still do. But, for now we're sitting in front of our Christmas tree listening to Bing Crosby and Perry Como, eating apple pie, watching movies like Holiday Inn - and while I'm so grateful, especially for the "we" part, it's still more than a bummer that we don't have two little bundles of joy to distract us. We got the tree up too fast, we're sleeping in too late, and have way too much quiet time. I know for many people that probably sounds like a dream come true... but, I've never felt so sad to have such a quiet house. It's definitely harder than I expected it to be.

But, there is another aspect of the holidays being hard that I hadn't anticipated. There are so many distractions that leave me feeling agitated... strangely enough, they are the same distractions that usually make me excited about the holidays. Searching out the most perfect gifts, getting out all the decorations, wrestling my way through the crowded stores (okay, you're right, I don't get excited about that one)... but, really, usually there is an excitement that comes with doing all the normal traditions of Christmas.

I guess a lot of it is that I've become so aware of how tainted my own view of Christmas has been, and still is. As much as I want to think that in past years I celebrated Christmas for the right reasons and with the right spirit, I'm realizing this year that it's a completely different experience. Because our life isn't normal anymore, none of the usual things seem normal either.

Laying in my hospital bed on the night of July 16th, holding my two daughters within minutes of being born, in awe of their perfection, my heart was tender, but at peace. Panic didn't exist in that moment (though, naturally, it was there in the moments prior and has come multiple times since). Instead, on that mid-summer night, I found my thoughts urgently turning to another night in another place and time, when another baby was born. For possibly the first time in my life, the story of the birth of Christ really mattered to me on a very personal level. It became so much more than just a nice story. Even though I had always tried to make Him a personal part of my life, it always felt a little too abstract or something.

There's nothing like death to force you from abstract to reality. All of a sudden, there we were saying good-bye to Elliana and Emmaline. It was different than saying good-bye to grandparents. Maybe that's because in my mind I had always figured that if for some reason there really wasn't a heaven, then I could feel satisfied that after 90-something years, at least they had lived a good, long life. But, in this case, I needed to know like I never had before that it was all true. Those stories of the Carpenter of Galilee - were they just a fairytale, or possibly exaggerated history from 2000 years ago? Did Jesus really do what He said He would do? And, did it really extend to the whole human race, including our precious girls? Did he overcome death for them? Would we really see them again? Are they really ours forever?

In what should have been a moment of sheer terror and panic, there was the strongest assurance that filled our hearts that it was all true. Our experience in the hospital with our daughters is so sacred to us that I won't get into the details here, but the feelings that dominated were ones of gratitude for the Son of God, the Savior of the world. His birth, His life, His death, His victory over the tomb... all of it mattered more than it ever had before. It wasn't abstract anymore. This was real.

It mattered that Jesus was born, that He lived a perfect life, that He willingly laid down His life, that He victoriously raised Himself up again. It matters because through Him I have hope of dreams yet to be fulfilled in this life and in the next, and an indescribably joyful reunion to look forward to.

Since July I've been learning over and over again - He is real. His peace, His healing, His comfort. It is all so real. And, even though He has always been just as real, His reality is so much stronger in our hearts than it ever has been before.

For that reason... this Christmas is different. And, I'm honestly hoping the change will last.


11 comments:

Allred Fam said...

I want to post a comment, but not sure what exactly.... such a nice post. I understand your feelings, all so true....

Head Nurse or Patient- you be the judge said...

Very thought provoking. It is all too easy to not really remember the reason for the season. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Mindy said...

Perfect Christmas post. Perfect.

Erika said...

Sending you a huge HUG this Christmas. I felt much the same when Vivian and Annemarie were born (born still 7/12/08 due to TTTS)- Heaven became so much more important to me. The promise of seeing my girls again is what keeps me going. The holidays are so hard- so extremely hard. This Christmas is different for me in many ways- mostly, the true reason for the season is what lights up the holidays for me this year. Thank you for sharing.

Joelle said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. And totally understand the pain of having Christmas this year without that bundle of joy we thought would be joining our crew. I thought I'd get to add one more stocking this year but alas, it's just 3 (we have a dog). Wishing you a peaceful Christmas this year.

Deetsgirl said...

Remind me that I can't read your blog at work. It is so what I am feeling right now and a little too emotional. I am so thankful for you sharing your thoughts as you approach this journey of life. Christmas is sooo hard this year. I just can't shake it. I love Christmas, but it is hard without one of your kids being with you.

ckkg said...

what a beautiful and touching expression of the many, many emotions you have and are experiencing. what a blessing to be able to recognize the power of the Christmas season, for all the right reasons. i so appreciate your words and your insight and pray that your days will be filled with peace. thank you for sharing.

mindyluwho said...

This is a beautiful post. Thank you Megan.

sherie said...

I don't remember how I found your blog but I have followed it for a while now. My sweet sister lost one of her twins yesterday at 21 weeks. I am wanting to do something for her and thought you might tell me what you think. Will you email me @ sherifay@msn.com

sherie said...

So sorry. My email is
sheriefay@msn.com

Open Air said...

Amen and amen! So true. I felt the same way when I held my twins after their death. Praise God for his incredible gift. It really is all true. The pain is excruciating, but we know that the hope we have is eternal.
I just found your blog a few weeks ago. Praising God for the births of your sweet sons! After losing four babies, we are also considering adoption. Your boys are beautiful! What blessings from God. :)