December is a flood of emotions for me. Not only does it contain Advent, Christmas, and New Year’s but the 16th of December is my birthday as well my baby brother’s 16th birthday in Heaven. I turned ten the morning my brother who was born three months prematurely went to see Jesus. And I remember so strongly how God spoke to me when that happened. I remember so clearly the prayers I prayed and the answers I received from Him. My brother was only here for a little less than two months, but it would take pages and chapters and books for me to adequately lay out for you how his tiny life impacted me and my family. And so my birthday has always been bittersweet. I like to say that God sent two baby boys to this earth to save me, Jesus and Jack. Because without Jesus I wouldn’t have salvation, and without Jack I may have never asked God the hard questions or listened when He spoke to me. I’ve never really fit in, and I think it’s because my soul has always carried a deep understanding that God is real and also a sadness that Life often comes through loss. This is where Joy is tested, as all our Joy is. The devil tried to steal mine at such a young age, and I can’t explain to you why mine still stands except that God made sure it would. He strengthened me through something that should have broken me. A little girl as I was, I felt like God had marked me or maybe punished me by taking Jack away on the day I was born. But now I believe that God allowed this so I would never forget the prayers He answered and so I would never think of Jack without knowing God loved Him and holds Him now. Our lives are connected, mine and his eternal one. And I believe God did that on purpose. My Joy today is real though. Maybe someday I will share my whole testimony here, but for today I just want you to see and know that God is so real, and so personal, and the Joy we have in Him can’t be stolen or broken or crushed. Even the hard things point to His glory. Even tiny babies are part of His story. Repeat the sounding Joy my friends. God turns even the hardest things into the most beautiful stories.
A Fellow Grace Wanderer