by: Alana Yarbrough
Most people are not aware of the path I have walked, or crawled at times, the heart–wrenching mistakes or diseases, the murder of my best friend/husband years ago or my father figure 6 months before that. I never grew up with a father, went to over 16 schools, saw things most will never see in their lives, and quickly learned to embrace copious quantities and genres of books as my best friends when friendships were so often torn away.
At times my messy faith is a near silent whisper in the wind caressing my face, other times a heart-beating deafening roar in my ears. I have walked a path of mistakes, grievous pains, natural consequences, wild joys, intellectual accomplishments and worldwide adventures, yet the One thing that has kept me going is my ever-growing messy faith and intimate relationship with Jesus.
The Christmas story is a birth story. It's about waiting, heavy in anticipation, longing and aching in labor, yet also in HOPE. It's about understanding that when you hear there is 'no room' for your gifts, your talents, your skills or your heart, to know and believe that you will be able to birth your gifts at the appointed time and place that He has chosen.
This Christmas, do not be discouraged, when you are told there is 'no room' for you. When you are waiting - heavy in anticipation. Trust that your story, as it unfolds, will be just as He appointed. Know that your labor is not in vain, your outpouring of all that you have, every ounce of your strength is for a greater purpose.
This story is also one of forgiveness. The grace extended to us is one we need to extend to others. Not just those that we like, but those that we are called to love. This Christmas when you give presents, give your presence. As you wrap gifts, seek to wrap someone in a hug. And Instead of just going to see the Christmas light decorations, to be a true light in someone’s life.
And finally let's remember, His birth, life, death and resurrection were not to become simply religious songs, prayers, and incantations to recite, but a passionate way of life to practice. Through reverence, repentance and awe-filled admiration do we celebrate this gift of a new life in Him - to grow in minute-by-minute and ever changing our hearts and minds. For together, we celebrate on Christmas the birth of our hope. Jesus.