I am an incarnation Christian – my faith in the Christian story begins with God becoming human. For this reason, Christmas is my favorite time of the year. It reminds me the importance of being present and embodying themes like peace, love and joy. It reminds me that God is love and that this love is present in the world, despite what we may think. This love is a living, breathing, transforming force that overcomes hate, fear and anything that would seek to thwart God’s promise of abundant life for us all.
I believe that Jesus came to live, not to die. I believe that Jesus’ life provides a blueprint for the rest of us – one that focuses on loving God, loving neighbor and loving ourselves. Christmas is the time of year that helps me recommit to a way of living that seeks to be more compassionate, more grateful and more giving.
Christmas is also an interesting time because it marks the beginning of the church year and the end of the secular year. It’s a both/and moment that brings about hope for what’s to come and causes us to reflect on what’s happened.
This year has been a year of immense growth for me, one that included pain and ended with clarity. It was a roller coaster ride to say the least, but I am very grateful. This season I am taking the time to consider the lessons learned that impacted my professional and personal life, along with leading me to fall deeper in love with myself.
And that is my hope for each one of you, dear Shadow Lovers. As you take a look back over this life and prepare for the upcoming year, I pray that you recognize the lessons, the heartache, the joy and the struggle as pieces of your story that ultimately lead to abundant life.
I know that this time of year is difficult for many and I am constantly thinking about those who are alone, depressed, grieving and wondering if this life is worth living. I don’t know the specifics of every situation, but I do know that there are many of us who struggle. It is my deepest desire that you know that you are not alone.
Merry Christmas to each of you and I sincerely thank you all for your support along this journey. May the peace of Christ that surpasses all understanding be with you all.