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This week I’ve felt like I’m a roller coaster. Difficult decisions were made and plans rearranged. Every day seemed filled with new changes and challenges. There has been heartache, and hard work, and more nights falling asleep on damp pillows, than not.

This pandemic has done more than interrupt my routine. It has toyed with my emotions, broken my sleep, and stolen my joy.

Everything is topsy-turvy, and while I’ve come to enjoy some “adventure” in my life, I’m still so much happier riding the Merry-Go-Round than a Roller Coaster.

On Saturday I went for a walk in the snow. It was large, fluffy flakes coming straight down, the kind that piles up on your hat and sticks in your braids. The streets were empty and it was crisp and peaceful. It gave my mind time away from the running to-do list and the ache in my heart as I wrestled between rocks and hard places.

It gave space for God to speak…and for me to listen.

God reminded me of another woman whose life was interrupted.

Mary was an ordinary girl dreaming of her husband, her home, and babies. Then she was visited by an angel with an incomprehendable request. Her love for and trust in God made it easy to answer, but it came at a cost. It didn’t always seem fair. There was probably a whole gammet of emotions. And the future held so many unknowns.

The circumstances around that first Christmas weren’t “normal” or perfect. God’s plan for salvation, from the beginning of time, arrived in a barn on a cold, dark night, to a young couple far from the comforts of home and family.

Immanuel – God With Us.

Life is interrupted, but God is still moving.

Life is interrupted, but love and joy, and wonder still exist.

Little about this Christmas is normal or perfect either. The tree, the lights, the gifts, the goodies – even the time with family – may all be part of the celebrations, but they aren’t the most important parts of Christmas. It’s a time, like Mary and Joseph, and the Shepherds, to look into the face of God and worship. It’s time to acknowledge our need and His presence in our mixed-up, messy lives. I needed that reminder.

O come, all ye faithful…come and behold Him
Born the King of angels
O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.