Three years ago on this day, as I anticipated the day of Christ’s birth and enjoyed the seasonal festivities, I received a phone call that would forever change my life. Someone with whom I was tremendously close to had passed suddenly and unexpectedly. The weight of those words as they came through the line instantly broke me to my core.
The past three years have been riddled with crippling guilt, regret, and the undeniable revelation that self-forgiveness and healing were seemingly unattainable. To say that time eases that pain you experience when you lose someone so cherished is indeed a cruel and fallacious platitude.
Then something remarkable happened five months ago. I met a rector as she officiated a wedding I attended and she made such a profound impact on me that I decided to attend her church. What I felt as I left St. Christopher’s on that first Sunday morning was a whisper in my soul that God had called me to this place where I could actually take the first step in my journey to forgive myself and allow God’s healing grace to begin trickling into my guarded heart.
Every Sunday as I walk to the alter to receive the sacrament, I bring with me a little bit more of this burden to place at the feet of Christ so that in His mercy, I may leave it there. This journey has been one that I have kept to myself though fellowship with St. Christopher’s congregational family has facilitated my every step. That being said, if you are reading this, you are a part of this journey, as well. It is with a grateful heart that I give thanks to God and to you for the love that has been shown so that I may in turn show love to myself.
Today, December 20, 2017, is a day in which God has reminded me of the importance of love. So in this season of Advent, I open my heart to receive and give love, even to myself.
“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” ~1 Corinthians 13:8-13
Daily Reading: John 3:16-21
16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
17 ‘Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgement, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.’