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'Tis the season of giving gifts! A time when we look to the ultimate Gift Giver and marvel at the wonderful grace he gave us when he sent his son, Jesus Christ, to make a way for us to be near him.

If gifts are your thing, this can be a very fun time of year. You think really hard, or are hit with an inspiration, of what you think someone else might enjoy, and then, yay! the joy of watching someone open a gift you've given them.

But, during this time of focusing on gifts, I have been struck with a pain that goes back 4 years. When Gracie died, it was an immediate loss. An immediate removal of a very good gift. But there have been more losses surrounding that. My dream of an unmedicated birth was over. Because of the type of surgery I had, trying for a natural birth was no longer an option. I never had the chance to experience labor. My dream of four children to raise ended with three.

After Jackson's birth this summer, we chose to follow the doctor's orders and take permanent measures. Again, because of health issues, they really encouraged us (me) to be content with the children I have and keep myself safe so I can raise them. It was the final gut punch in a series of hardship and sadness around childbearing.

That gift of life -- of raising life, of experiencing life -- for us, is on pause.

Snow on a Pine Tree

And I wrestle with that. And I grieve over that. And, honestly, this was going to be a pretty different blog post, but as I started writing, I thought about my good Gift Giver. He is looking at me, at my family, my life, who I am, and choosing just the best gift for me. It doesn't look like the package shape I was expecting, but, I know it'll be good.

What good gift seems taken away from you right now? Is there a dream or a passion that seems on hold? Ended?

May it be that as we take time to focus on Christ in this season we would welcome whatever the gift of our life is. And may we be able to see it for what it is: a beautiful gift waiting to be unwrapped.


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