Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Memories

Early in our marriage, my husband and I moved from Texas, to Kansas City, Missouri, so he could attend Midwestern Baptist Seminary. I was pregnant with our second child when we moved in July. On December 19, it was time for our baby to be born, and Debbie was a beautiful baby with very dark hair long enough to curl around my finger as it lay on her neck.
We had a little 3-foot silver Christmas tree sitting on a table in the living room of our apartment, and I had bought a few Christmas presents, hiding them carefully, so our inquisitive 20-month-old son would not find them. I even forgot about some of them and found them a few months later when we moved to a house on our church field in Bosworth, Missouri.

The baby bed was ready and baby clothes were in the dresser. In those days newborn babies wore dresses, whether they were boys or girls, so the clothes for Debbie were the same ones we had used for Steve. We had bought bunk beds for Steve, putting one in his room and the other one in another apartment, where we stayed on weekends while my husband preached at a little church a hundred miles away. I thought all was ready, but I didn't count on post-partum depression.

We were far away from family, 100 miles away from friends at church, and when my husband had to go back to his duties and leave me in our lonely apartment, the depression hit me hard. I was young with two babies in diapers and I could not deal with my feelings.

Christmas that year was just the four of us, snow covered the ground, and the two Texans in that second floor apartment had never seen snow like that. Even though I had two beautiful babies, I felt a sadness that I couldn't shake off.
 After several years and two more babies, God delivered me from depression in a miraculous way (see my book A Heritage of Faith for the full story). But still, sometimes Christmas brings me overtones of sadness.
We are still far away from family 55 years after the Christmas when Debbie was born. God has done amazing things to lead us through the years. He has provided substitute parents and grand-parents when ours were too far away from us. He has given us other children, those in our churches who loved us and befriended our own children. He has brought us so very far from our humble beginnings.

I praise Him this Christmas as we prepare to see our family in Texas: a new great-granddaughter that we will see for the first time, two of our children along with their grown children, my sisters, my husband's brothers, and my precious 93-year-old mother who lives in a retirement village in Denton.

I've learned that Christmas is not a place, it's not a special gift, but it is the presence of Jesus in my life and the safety and hope He gives. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas this year and as the New Year comes in, I pray it will be a good one for us all.

No comments:

Post a Comment