Christmas is upon us! It was sneaking up while I was in the states and after only being back on the ship for a couple of weeks, the ship Christmas decorations were up. We have been having events for Christmas every few days ever since December began. Some people have said all the events have made it feel like Christmas is dragging on forever, but I am loving it.
Over the past few weeks we have celebrated Sinterklaas- the Dutch Santa celebration and Santa Lucia- the Scandinavian celebration. We’ve had Winter Wonderland markets on board, a ballet performance, Christmas craft nights, cookie bakes and tonight we had the Mercy Ships Academy Christmas play. Tomorrow night is the Australian Traditional Carols by Candlelight. I’m soaking up each event and enjoying them with friends around the ship.
This will be my first Christmas away from my family. That means the traditions that have made Christmas Christmas have been left on the other side of the world and will be very missed (mostly my family members!). At least the weather here is similar to the weather at home at the moment! Out of all the places in the world though that I would choose to spend Christmas away from my family, I would pick here. A few weeks ago we did a fun, silly Christmas ‘family’ photo shoot to use on our Christmas cards. Some of this group have gone home for Christmas, but a good handful of them will be my family for Christmas this year.
My Christmas cards have been crafted, written and posted and hand-made Christmas gifts for Christmas day have been in the making for a few weeks now and are not quite finished!
Down in the hospital, the ceilings are covered with red and green paper chains and our D ward door is covered too, with the newly made up words of The 12 Days of Christmas D ward style.
During the children’s Christmas play tonight, there was so much cuteness I could hardly handle it. My friends next to me could verify that I squealed in parts and that I also admitted I could cry at watching them. I love seeing the children I know and live with performing. They weren’t performing just anything though, they were testifying of the God that we love and serve. The story of Jesus coming to earth to live among man has been told for centuries but what does it mean to you? I felt like I could cry tonight because Jesus was calling me- Watch. Look. Do you see me? Come and spend time with me after the play. See what I have done for you.
Last week a situation arose where I found my insecurities rise as high as the Eiffel Tower. A sharp little finger poked me in the heart and told me that I wasn’t good enough- a lie that I have been fighting against for years. The situation seemed to point to that fact that I must not have been good enough and so I second guessed the truth that God had spoken over me. When I was writing in my journal about it, I wrote, God says I am worth... and I stopped. I thought firstly, more than jewels, not that's not it. More than the sparrows in the sky. No that's not it either... God says I am worth... God whispered to me. “You are worth everything I had to give.” His son. His only son. He gave everything. For me. I am worth God sacrificing his own son, just that I might live and know him. “I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you.” (Isaiah 41:9 NIV)
This season God sent His only son to earth, in the form of a baby, to live among man because he loves us. He wants to know us. We are worth everything to him.
Merry Christmas to you and your family! May you know His love for you this Christmas.