This post was written by guest contributor, Jessica Satterfield.
It was the first time I sat down all day.
I grabbed a blanket, listened to the fire crackle, and gazed into those twinkling lights. The kitchen was clean, most of the toys were put away, my children were asleep, and just for a moment, my house and heart were still.
I thought, “Lord, if it was always this way, like it is in this quiet moment, I could really celebrate your coming to us.” And with that thought still lingering in my mind, our huge tree crashed to the floor. The twinkling lights were pulled from the wall, ornaments were shattered, and I could hear the gallon of water in the stand, pouring out onto my carpet.
You could say my December has seemed everything but graceful.
I am utterly exhausted. Not from all of the Christmas parties, shopping, and looking at lights. I am exhausted from life. My heart is so weary and my body is tired.
Life doesn’t stop for Christmas.
This was going to be the year I made the cute Advent calendar. I really wanted to spend a day baking cookies with my two year old. I wanted to enjoy wrapping presents and have them look like they could be found on Pinterest. I wanted to make those cute handprint ornaments with my children. After all, babies don’t keep. And I had really big plans to host a Christmas party for our friends.
The reality is, I am very proud we have our decorations up this year.
Just last week, I sat in my baby’s hospital room, after his second surgery in three months. We have journeyed a long road with him. We have recently made big decisions that will affect the rest of his life. We have visited countless doctors asking for second opinions, and most of our afternoons are spent in therapy.
I watched his little chest rise and fall and listened to the rhythmic sound of his breathing while he slept peacefully. He was attached to all types of tubes. Those feeding him, giving him fluids, and monitoring him.
As my heart completely ached, and I wiped tears away from tired eyes, I felt the Spirit say to me, “This is why I came.”
He came so we wouldn’t have to do hard alone. He came to rescue us from sin and death so the Father could adopt us, making us belong to Him. He came so that bad news can be laced in hope. He came so that beauty can come from ashes. He came so that barren places of our heart can be filled. He came because there would be those nights when we’re in the shower crying desperate tears and our prayers are only groans. He came because He knew the brokenness in this world is just too much. He came to give us life and hope. Mostly, He came to be our Emmanuel, our God who is with us.
Your December might feel graceful, or your December might feel more like mine. Either way, a graceful December doesn’t mean that life stops. Or your house is perfectly decorated. It doesn’t mean your lists are all checked off, or all the projects on your Pinterest board are complete.
A graceful December is celebrating a baby King, who came to rescue us all.
And whether you are celebrating Him on top of life’s mountain, or down below in the valley, He is our Emmanuel.
He is with us.
He is here.
I’m so delighted to introduce you to Jessica, who I first met at the Allume Conference in 2014. She radiates light from the inside, out, and I am just in awe of her faith and faithfulness to God through life’s beauty and pain. Jessica is one of the most personable, celebratory, prayerful people I know. She writes out of the depths of her heart and moves mine often, even though we live a long distance apart. She cares beautifully for her husband and two gorgeous babies, and speaks with an enviable Southern drawl that makes her even sweeter in person.
Jessica has seen the goodness of God in the midst of the heartbreak of infertility and the joys of adoption. She is an adoption advocate and passionate about encouraging other moms throughout their journeys of motherhood. She teaches first graders, loves to write, has an eye for decorating, sews when she has time, and enjoys the beauty found in the mundane. She lives in South Carolina with her life crush, Brandon, and their two heart grown children, Selah and Micah. She helps lead the orphan care ministry at her church and adores the Lord with other women through Bibles studies held in her home. Jessica’s writing was published in Adopted for Daily Life: A Devotional for Adopting Moms. She would love for you to follow her journey at gracewhilewewait.com.