The reason why I am thankful on Christmas
My house is decorated with lights Christmas decoration and candles. Presents are ready, cookies are made, Christmas-dinner planned, family celebrations are all organized … and our home is filled with expectation and our children are full of this tingling sensation for the coming next days.
I love Christmas season.
And today, I love our family celebration, where my parents, siblings and all the nephews and nieces are reunited.
I remember one Christmas celebration when I was a young adult. I had been living out of home for several years already and went through challenging time, trying to get a meaning to my life.
My parents, during a special moment around the Christmas tree, told us children:
“My children, your mom and I are so proud of you, of who you became.”
I interrupted his speech, telling them:
Don’t even believe that this is because of your job as parents!”
Obviously, I had broken the whole solemn moment… My parents were speechless and my siblings hated me for my answer.
What has changed since then?
Back then, I felt like a vessel, broken into many pieces. I was trying hard to get my pieces together, struggling to at least pretend that I was ok, that I was lovable. I found myself unworthy, desperately longing to be known for who I truly am, yet too scared of even wanting to know who I truly am. I feared that who I was would not be good enough. I wanted to follow God, however my emotional world was so messed up, I was struggling hard to experience His love.
Today? I am restored in a large way. Of course there still are some cracks waiting to be fixed, but the shambles has long gone and beauty has come into my life for an exchange.
Let me tell you a story:
Once upon a time, back in the late 15th century, there was a Japanese imperial general who had a chinese tea bowl he liked very much. One day, this tea bowl was broken. He sent that bowl back to China, to have it repaired. It came back, mended with unsightly metal staples. Displeased, he asked artists to find an alternative – and they did. They used gold-dust to fix the broken pottery. The result was a piece of art. It became a masterpiece. Unique, with a royal appearance, beautiful and gorgeous. Today this pottery is known as “kintsugi”.
There is a passage in the bible, in the book of Isaiah, chapter 61 1-4, which beautifully describes what has happened in of my life.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, (it’s talking about Jesus)
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,
To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
And they shall rebuild the old ruins,
They shall raise up the former desolations,
And they shall repair the ruined cities,
The desolations of many generations.
But the reward has by far exceeded anything I ever dared to dream of.
Joy instead of mourning.
Praise instead of depression.
Respect instead of shame.
Hope instead of despair.
Forgiveness instead of blame.
Righteousness instead of guilt.
Beauty instead of ashes.