This year, I purchased photo Christmas cards for the first time. I’m laughing at myself now. They were so expensive and for what? I think next year, I’ll buy standard cards and write each recipient their own letter. I’m tired of the mundane traditions of the season and instead want to take each moment as it comes, revel in it, and be intentional about it’s purpose. Until then, enjoy your Christmas cards with a photo of us on the front; just what you wanted!
For those that follow me on this blog, Instagram, or the now semi-retired Facebook, it seems as if a Christmas letter is outdated. I remember as a little girl, I would have to stuff each letter into the card. As I grew, I started to edit my mother’s letters and take out the details that I was inevitably embarrassed about, albeit true. These days, you don’t need a letter when you have every. single. detail. about someone’s life, most of them you did not want to know. I could tell you the things I’ve eaten in the past 24 hours, or how I’ve (not) gone to the gym, or what I think of the person who cut me off, but why are those things important? They’re not. When we pass on, will you be remembered by the things you have done or said or shared or will share? I can’t stomach what y’all would think of me. So this Christmas, the focus is on Jesus. I could fill this letter with Dillon’s career accomplishments, my daily life as I’ve come to know it, family affairs, or what we plan for the next year; sure, they may be interesting, but they do not matter in comparison to much bigger things.
So this year, the letter is about Jesus.
You may stop reading now, I totally understand.
This time last year, Dillon and I packed up our entire lives and jumped into black water. We could not see the bottom and begged God to help us stay above it. The story continues that He did, we survived, and our life is steady these days. Yet, it goes so much deeper than that. Please know, I can only speak for my own heart, although it’s often in rhythm with my husband’s, so this is largely from my perspective. His story is his to share.
In the past…I suppose many years, even though I wish it was a blink of an eye, I’ve battled some things that I would not have chosen for myself. As humans, we piece together this life we want, comprised of everyone else’s lives, to result in the perfect circumstances. In my heart, that was built as a castle, a castle that I lived in for many years and it was made of pure, thin, fragile glass. I did not dwell with God, I stayed within my own self and the only way God was going to get me out of it was to take it down in one swift motion of gut wrenching pain. What was a swift motion, became a drawn out ache, coloring everything I saw. I was mostly angry with God, as He had taken away the glass house I had tiptoed in for my entire life. As the years went on, I sought council, friendship, and healing, my life was rebuilt. I felt like God took the glass away, and has rebuilt a small dwelling in my heart, made of heavy beams and only roomy enough for Him.
The outside of me has followed suit, letting go of the things that fit the frailness of my heart and in came a sturdy, simple, and naturally beautiful things that resonate with God. Instead of feeling as though I must look perfect all the time, I instead thrive off feeling real and dirty and hard working. I have been stripped of everything I used to fill my heart other than God.
The journey was long, is long I should say, and full of many steps. I still thank God every day that my husband brought us to Colorado, as it was completely vital to my healing. I will die here and enter heaven through the Rocky Mountains. I still walk those steps every day and have to check my emotions daily. More than that, I have to check my heart daily. Am I pushing God out? Am I replacing Him with things that only served to shatter my world? Each day is a step, sometimes forward, sometimes backwards but at least I am on steady ground again.
I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord. – Psalm 40:1-3
This Christmas season signifies a huge leap of trusting God, and of massive amounts of healing. I am forever, and ever joyful to be thriving today, but only by the grace of God. I hope this transforms every moment for me and leads to monumental things in this next year.
There is no better summary of the year than this: God is a God of redemption, healing, and is an expert craftsman. I may not always want it, but I can depend on God being my constant, even when glass houses break.
With so much love, peace, joy, and holiday cheer from the front range,
Cameo Abigail Pierce