the greatest Hail-Mary-Redemption story.

The Christmas tree toppled over.

The one crispy, pointed, sparkling symbol in my life supposed to bring joy was just precariously balancing and at any second in this drafty old house if you blinked it just slowly came crashing down all a mess and the picture perfect Christmas was also laying in a heap there on the floor, and a few minutes later I found my own arm attached at the end of the misshapen trunk, buried in between the Frasier fir branches, my hair all a-mess because of the prickly twigs I would be brushing out of my hair for the next two days and the scent of pine overtaking my wooly threads, tangled up in the Christmas tree. So we laughed, and got a janky ole’ piece of twine and tied this 12-foot monstrosity to the dainty windowsill.

The two main religious holidays, Easter and Christmas, are centered around two of the largest grievances in my 22 year old life. Christmas will forever be the season in which my mother became a ticking time bomb, a third growth and chemo, radiation, and resections exhausted we began realizing there were no treatment options left for her cancer, an awakening to the word “terminal”. Everyday became a miracle, and simultaneously everyday became one less with her. And Easter will forever be the day we lost verbal communication with her. Easter, and Good Fridays are supposed to be the solemn holidays in the religious world. Not Christmas, covered over with icing and snowmen and enough lights that you cannot help but feel merry & bright. And family.

As I sit in our messy home and look at the pine needles covering the vast, oriental rug and the couch cushion with too few springs for my liking and my messy “Marley”-esque puppy that has pulled the stuffing from her toys and compose a “punch list” with my dad of everything we have neglected over the last two years, everything inside me feels. so. utterly. messy.

And ultimately out of my control.

And I think to myself that maybe I’ll have it all together next year, or maybe if I can just check off this punch list before I start work, or if we can downsize our house, or if I take enough things to Goodwill, or if we get all the Christmas decorations up by Saturday then, THEN I will not feel such quite a mess. Then I will feel ready to approach Jesus, then I will be able to give myself grace, then and only then will I fill the void in my own life with these controllable tasks.

And this is where I stop myself. And once again take a step back to read the beginning of the greatest Hail-Mary-Redemption story of all time. In a perfectly planned play to grab the attention of his wayward people, God placed his only child on this earth in the most unwelcoming reception you can imagine. He had prepared a way for his son, but the details were glaringly void of glamour. One might expect the God of the Universe to at least have a crib ready for his son, but instead a grungy manger had to suffice.

This, is my greatest example of hope.

When everything around me seems sad “without” her…. Emmanuel. He is WITH us.

This is the very time he chose to come to be with me. Perhaps, this is the time he came, knowing I would need him now the very most. It’s strange how after a time of trial, the holidays create a deeper wound instead of welcoming the lightened cheeriness the jingle bells and candy canes attempt to promise. All the Christmas decorations we unpack feel incomplete now and trying and to make our house a home without our designated, chosen, beloved homemaker feels more like clutching a heap of broken Christmas ornaments: painful, disappointing and consumingly sad.

It’s here that I dig overwhelmingly, heartbreakingly deep and try to find something, anything really, to be truly thankful and glad, even joyous, for this side of heaven. And I find it. I’m thankful that my earthly home is rooted and established in my Savior. He is the maker of even my transient home, he placed me in the place in which we are together, constantly fumbling about trying to seek His face above all. And most of all that He is Emmanuel. God with us. God with us, now. No other words than he is here and present, which is the most gratifying gift I could begin grasp in this season. He continues to fellowship with us. His hope means more to me this year, because of the now-tangible, reality of eternal life my mother is experiencing and that a baby boy welcomed in to my life, my loved one’s lives.

“The thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices.”

Wherever Christmas finds you this year, be-it in a season of immense joy or a season reminiscent of loss, I hope you foster one attitude throughout the flurry of gifts, cookies, relatives, malls, peppermint mochas, and reindeer.


God is with you.

Raw authenticity inspired by: my church {listen here}

Favorite football Hail Mary? Auburn, duh {click}


Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

crafted with: trader joe’s florals // mom’s tarnished silver // old DIY windows // my scrawny lettering

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

pictured: print from She Reads truth (I LOVE this app, best way to jumpstart a day) // more trader joe’s florals // chicken wire flea market find // GOLD WASHI TAPE~target


2 thoughts on “the greatest Hail-Mary-Redemption story.

  1. Pingback: yes. (#myONEstep story) | messy joy

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