As the mother of a daughter who struggles with addictions, self-injury, mental illness, sexual assault and suicidal tendencies my wants during the holidays are few. If I could be a child again I’d climb up onto Santa’s lap and have a very different kind of wish list for him. Maybe you would, too.
Material things mean nothing when one of your children is suffering. Their pain is our pain. We grieve over their losses. Our lives have been profoundly affected. We’ll never be the same. What do you really want for Christmas? Nothing you can buy in a store. My list is more like a prayer.
All I want for Christmas is:
1) A “do over” for my daughter.
To be able to turn the clock back; to erase all the trauma and damage that she’s done to herself; to wipe away all memories of the terrors she’s experienced; to make all the internal and external scars disappear, including the ones on my heart.
2) My daughter healed completely, on every level – physical, emotional, social, and spiritual; no more addiction, damaged health, mental illness or broken relationships – with others and with her Creator.
3) A spiritual fire rekindled in her heart that cannot be quenched or put out by anything or anyone for the rest of her life.
4) For her to embrace the dreams her heavenly Father has for her; great purpose from all her pain and a compelling reason to live no matter what trials she may face.
5) A protective shield and invincible covering over her so she remains safe from all the plans and schemes of the Evil One to destroy her.
6) God’s perfect peace in my heart no matter what’s happening with my child. A deep, abiding serenity nothing can touch, no storm can quench, no suffering can smother.
7) Renewed faith that as long as she’s breathing there’s always hope. But the right kind, in God alone – in the fact that He will always be with me to help me, be my strength and even use all the pain for good.
8) And lastly, the strength to keep going – to not grow weary and give up.
I’m too big and too old to sit on Santa’s lap these days, but through prayer I can climb onto the lap of God anytime I want. I don’t have to go to the mall and wait in a long line, either. I can bring my wish list of requests to Him and He’ll give me His undivided attention with a heart full of compassion and love. I’m never too big or too old for that! Then comes the hard part – waiting and trusting.
I think I’ll write out my list and put it in my God Box. Do you have one? I’ll tell you more about that in my next blog. There’s something about writing these things down that gives me more peace – hmmmmm, that’s number six on my wish list!
This Bible verse is so helpful: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition (our personal requests), with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).”
God, there’s so much we could put on our Christmas wish list for our child. It’s overwhelming. Please show us how to give these things to You. Fill us with the courage to wait. Help us trust You with the answers. Remind us this holiday season how much You love us and our children – enough to exchange Your glory for a manger. You came into our world to die so that we could really live. This is our true comfort. This is our true joy.
The words of this Christmas hymn say it well:
“Tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy; O tidings of comfort and joy!”
We thank you, God, with all our hearts.
In Jesus’ name, our Prince of Peace.