Friday, December 30, 2016


Christmas is often filled with emotion, anxious anticipation, and joy.  This year my Christmas has also included more feelings of gratitude for the gift of life and health.  One of my good friends, someone I see regularly, usually weekly, lost her mother suddenly earlier this month.  She is still reeling that her mother, just 66-years old, is really gone.  A nine-year old boy in our ward with a rare genetic disease that causes slowed growth, digestive, heart, and respiratory problems had open heart surgery a week before Christmas.  His recovery has been slow.  Another friend in the ward, an older lady that I love, and have served with in Relief Society, had quadruple bypass surgery two days after Christmas, and is struggling to heal.  Another friend was anticipating the birth of her third son on January 5, but instead this seemingly perfectly healthy baby passed away in the womb on December 23.  Life is so fragile and unpredictable!

Sometimes there are unanswered questions.  Sometimes life feels very unfair.  But, I rejoice that in the midst of grief, loss, anxiety, and fear, there is the Light of the World.  I feel such gratitude for the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ that brought a new star, and hope everlasting.  In the sorrows of life, even at Christmas time, there is a Prince of Peace.

Although my experience is only second-hand, I feel grateful for my association with each of these people.  The gospel plan, the Father's will, and principles of faith, hope, and charity are made more alive in difficult times.  The combination of the Christmas season, and friends who are hurting have made my own covenants more meaningful.  I have found joy in offering needed service, praying more earnestly for specific people with specific needs, and have found myself thinking of others more.  I am grateful for healthy children, a loyal companion, and the support of family.  I am grateful for the tiny life inside me, and a pregnancy without complications.  I am grateful to be a mother.  I am grateful for gospel perspective.  I am grateful for opportunities to feel something of what Christ has felt.  


Jane said...

You are so sweet and such a good person.
I am grateful to know you and have your example in my life.