Inevitable Joy

I’ll be honest.

As this season drew closer, I struggled.

I wondered how it could be a happy one without her here.

You see, I don’t look forward to spending another Christmas with my daughter half a world away. When I first held her in my arms 20 long months ago, I never ever imagined that all these days later, we’d still be apart.

Yet here we are, waiting. Another Christmas will come and go without her.

Call me Scrooge, but I couldn’t foresee getting into the Christmas spirit. Not this year.

Until yesterday happened.

I stood in church, surrounded by people I love, and I sang these words:

Oh come, let us adore Him.

And it came.

Joy. Hope. Wonder. Awe.

It came without any effort or mustering on my part. I felt it to the very marrow of my bones.

Oh come, let us adore Him.

You see, the Israelites had been waiting too, with nothing but silence to fill that wait. FOUR HUNDRED years worth of silence. Four hundred years since Malachi penned his final word.

The world was broken and lost and filled with darkness. God seemed absent. Where was their promised savior?

And then. . .

Then HOPE was born.

Finally, He came! And not at all as they expected their king to come.

God reached down into this dark world. He wrapped Himself in flesh and vulnerability. He became as low as a baby. To live among us. To walk among us. To be the rescue we couldn’t be for ourselves.

Oh come, let us adore Him.

He left GLORY, knowing full well the price He would pay, the burden He would bear, the pain He would endure.

For you. For me. For us.

This is Christmas.

This is hope.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 

I worried I wouldn’t be able to get into the spirit this year. But I worried for nothing.

Yes, I miss my daughter. I feel her absence profoundly, especially now, as we put up the tree and hang the stockings and wrap presents while her bedroom remains dark and empty upstairs. The ache is real.

And yet, hope is real, too. Like electricity before a lightning strike, hope charges the air. So tangible it raises the hair on my arms.

Can you feel it?

I hope you can.

If you’re struggling this season, I hope that you meet Him in a way you never have before. I hope you see with fresh eyes how very worthy He is of our adoration. I hope you experience all the magic, all the wonder those shepherds must have felt the night the angels sang of His birth. I hope you find a Bible and open up to this good news that is our rescue, and experience the inevitable joy that comes with knowing Him. Joy that has nothing to do with the circumstances of the moment, and everything to do with this small baby in a manger. Immanuel. God with us.

Hope has come!

Oh come, let us adore Him.

christmas season

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14 thoughts on “Inevitable Joy

  1. Love this, Katie! Beautiful post. A friend of mine has been with her daughter in DRC for a while now. I’ll be adding you to my prayer list.

  2. This is a post to read and share over and over, Katie. Lovely and real. May the blessings of Christmas love and joy be yours in great measure this year, my friend. And maybe, just maybe, we can finally meet in the New Year, and you’ll be able to share with me in person the long-awaited fulfillment of your dream to bring your beautiful daughter home.

  3. Beautifully said. Made me cry!

  4. *you* have managed. *you*! Geez, I have to stop thinking about myself!!

  5. I can’t imagine the ache. I’m so glad I’ll have managed to find hope in this difficult situation and will keep praying for a Christmas miracle

  6. Amen, seeeester. Amen. 🙂 Love you! I need this post too.

  7. A beautiful and profound message to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  8. Jill

    Katie, this was beautiful. Thank you for sharing. I’m so glad you are feeling his presence during this hard time!

  9. Judy Burgi

    Katie, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Tears sprang to my eyes as I was reading your post. Waiting is so hard isn’t it? BUT as you said, we do have HOPE and that is the best news of all!

  10. I stood in church yesterday morning singing “Emmanuel” and I felt it, too, Katie. The hope, the expectation, the joy.

    Loved your post.

  11. Rebecca Dewey

    Katie, this was an absolutely beautiful post. Thank you for sharing with us.

  12. Serious goose bumps here. Beautiful.

  13. This was beautiful, Katie. Thank you for sharing. I am praying for you and Salima and all the family.

  14. Christina Dekker

    Oh, Katie… bringing me to tears!
    This is exactly what happened in my heart this morning as I started my Advent reading. What a blessing that I don’t have to do anything to receive the hope of my Savior!
    Praying for you and your fam.


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