Be patient with me, I am mid allergy flare (stupid dust from the wood stove) and my eyes are closing as we speak. I haven’t written in some time, as I try not to force anything, if I don’t feel it? I move on, baby, I move on! Plenty of things to keep my busy around a mildly run down farm house. A two hundred year old one, at that. I need to paint, my entire house no less-and have a kazillion things to fix, mend or glue. I mean, bathroom floor, refinishing our hardwood floors, the list goes on.
As it turns out? I love this old house. I treat her with kid gloves, and in return she gives me joy amidst the toil, a thank you of sorts, for continuing to love and respect what she once was, what she will be again, some day. I have done almost everything humanly possible to create a warm and inviting space-big, soft blankets strewn across our leather furniture. Each room an individual feel, no two rooms alike-that’s for sure. I suffer from depression at times, and it is my prayer to refinish her in a way befitting of her old, stoic beauty.
This is our view from the deck at the pond.
So, finally getting to the point, I want to tell you that I was not myself over the last few weeks. Seasonal blues, combined with the side effects from my recent head injury and ensuing concussion (nausea, mood swings, headaches, and fatigue)put me in a place of utter despair.
I gave it all to God, and that helped immensely. Yet I still felt deeply saddened, as if the grief were going to swallow me whole-suffocate me with its deadly black cloak. I didn’t want to do, be, talk to or even participate in the holiday festivities. I had been depressed around this time of year before but this year? I had the added burden of wondering if we should be celebrating this holiday with pagan origins. I look at it this way: we know that 12/25 is not the date of Christ’s birthday, but we are celebrating our Lord and Savior as tradition has taught us for eons. I got into a quarrel with a Youtuber named Daniel Lee of Torah Restorations Ministries on his channel. This is what transpired, the cause and effect of an almost-ruined Christmas Eve:
Me: Merry Christmas Steve! (talking to another subscriber, not the MAN himself)
DANIEL: HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY SAY THAT TO SOMEONE KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW ABOUT SATANIC RITUAL ABUSE!! DON’T CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS, MICHELE, DO WHAT JESUS DID, PRACTICE HONUKAH INSTEAD!!!
I want to preface the next few paragraphs by telling you that I was a big fan of his channel, and we had grown to be like brother and sister. So much so that he was planning on staying with us this Spring, as he tours the universities of the East Coast to preach his message.
Me: Daniel, calm down. I’m not judging others, not my job, and Merry Christmas? Really, Daniel.
DANIEL: NO! YOUR HUSBAND AND YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER….BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!
It was brutal, and on Christmas Eve, no less.
I dressed, unceremoniously for Christmas Eve service, we had to be early, as we were helping set up. I slowly went around, to each window, and plugged in the gorgeous wreaths. Nothing. I sat in the chapel while the band practiced, hoping the music would inspire me. Zilch.
Nope, it looked like I wasn’t going to rally for the cause. Christmas would come and go, and I would be left in the dust, blindsided by regret and pain. I held back tears as I sat for the service. The evening was beautiful, and as I watched the children take the stage in a haphazard way-I leaned forward, in order to see, in order to listen.
I watched as my pastor, Tony Blair, looked at the children on stage. His face softened, his eyes grew moist. He gazed at those precious little people, with such tangible joy and love-it was heart wrenching.
There are good people in this world-well meaning, honest human beings who truly care about the least of these. The world became a brighter place, instantaneously. As we lit our candles, one by one, I had drifted off to the landscape of the starry night in Bethlehem, and the very thought of the Christ child lifted me up and out of my inertia, my numbness.
Back at home, hours later, I sat in the dark and took in the beautiful Christmas tree, my dog and cats asleep beside it, dreaming of sugarplums-no doubt. I say there for some time and prayed.
I felt a bit of childhood whimsy, the spark of pure adrenaline a kid feels when they even think of Santa Claus. But this time? The floaty stomach and profound love in my heart was due to the love of my Lord and Savior, my Prince of Peace, my evening song-Emmanuel~