I remember it like it was yesterday—my most memorable Christmas eighteen years ago.
Nine days before the big day, my father strolled into the great room of our house, asking to turn off the television. “Strange,” I thought to myself, “He usually just wants to change the channels.” He then positioned himself on the arm of the couch, signaling my younger brother and me to draw close to him. In a calm tone, he announced, “I lost my job today.” While Andy broke into tears and expressions of fear, I became completely immobilized, standing in complete shock. Little did I know, at that point, how much this moment would forever change my perspective on life.
From that evening forward, throughout the holiday season, my family ceased buying any more gifts. We further simplified our purchases for daily needs, including buying cheaper bread that crumbled when you spread butter on it or even picked it up with your hands. (By the way, just for your information…Cost Cutter Bread is no longer sold in stores!)
Most importantly, though, I learned the impact that relationships have upon one’s life, especially within the boundaries of the family. My family and I pulled the bed from the sofa and laid upon it, all four of us together, while watching hours and hours of movies. Thus, we learned the power of drawing love and strength from one another as well as being in the midst of another’s supportive, caring presence.
Having gone through this period, we further learned the significance of drawing love and strength from Another Who offers hope in all circumstances. As Patrick Overton states, “Faith [is] when you come to the edge of all the light you have and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown. Faith is knowing one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.”
While not all of us have the support of personal family during this Christmas season, may we acknowledge and reach out for the hands of our cohorts here in the ICU—our “adopted family.” May we also remember that there is always One whom can provide support and comfort like no other. May the Lord be our solid ground as well as our wings during this holiday season!