Twas the night before Christmas when all through the apartment, not a creature was stirring, and each child was in his or her compartment…

The tree was lit, Christmas music played softly as I sat curled snugly on the couch reflecting over the past few months. My, how we had been blessed and how I had grown, even in such a short time. Many strongholds had yet to be broken, and true healing would take time, but for this night all was well. I was at peace with myself and with God.

The stillness surrounded and comforted me. The rise and fall of each strain of music carried my soul away to a place of joy and serenity. Tomorrow was Christmas day. Presents glittered brightly under the tree making me want to wake the kids to open them early. I knew I couldn’t. Their Dad was coming the next morning to join us in an attempt to make the holiday feel complete. Looking back I am not sure whether these gestures helped or were actually more harmful by giving false hope for the future. All I know is for the first time I had a sense of meeting with their Dad on my own terms. He was coming onto my turf, into my home. I knew he would not see it that way, but the thought gave me an unusual sense of strength.

Despite this new-found confidence, I was also aware that for the first time since our separation he would be staying overnight in the same town. This thought left me feeling vulnerable. I reached for my Bible on the end table and began to read. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.” Palsms 121

As I read this scripture, I began to claim it for the night and for the upcoming day. I claimed it for myself. I claimed it for my children. I claimed it for my estranged husband. I wanted nothing more than a pleasant Christmas day. A day to set aside all of the pain and arguing. A day to remember good times and let the bad rest. A day that simply allowed our children to feel loved and treasured. I desperately needed a day where actions would not be misconstrued as promises of future actions, or used as daggers for past mistakes…a day to just let things be.

I took another sip of hot chocolate as the room became quiet between songs. I allowed my mind to clear and my body to relax as a symphonic arrangement of Silent Night began to play. Pure, sweet tones flowed from a violin as scripture verses were read. First, a scripture of prophecy – “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6  Next a scripture of fulfillment – “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord…” Luke 2:11 Finally, scriptures of promise – “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Drifting to sleep my mind envisioned the glimmering speck I am in the overall scheme of things, and yet how allowing God to use my choices contains the potential to change the course of history. I received assurance yet again that all of my tomorrows are in His hands. Regardless of how this Christmas day was to unfold, it was but one of many Christmas’s in a story of eternity, and the final chapter has a happy ending. This brought me Christmas joy in times of waiting.