Life

Wise Men, Wisdom Teeth, etc.

It’s Christmastime in the city again, folks. It’s that time of year where Christmas carols and lights and wrapping paper and ornaments and trees and Christmas cards and cookies *takes big huge gasp for air* surround us. This is usually my favorite time of the year. But even when the Christmas music began to play (in um, October I think?), I just wasn’t feeling festive. And I was completely floored.

First off, I wasn’t feelin’ the Christmas music about Santa and reindeer and mushy-love songs. WHAT. I thought to myself, “why the heck am I grinching??? I usually love this stuff. What x 10.”

Then, when people asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I could think of absolutely nothing. I then thought to myself, “ok so am I just too lazy to think of something? Or is my brain just freezing up? Brain, come on man.” But it wasn’t my brain. And it wasn’t me being lazy. I felt a nudge in my heart, a longing for something more.

So at 6:30 pm on December 14th, I finished my final final exam for the semester and I packed up {practically all} my stuff and headed home for break. The next day I had my wisdom teeth consult and I was scheduled to get them yanked the following Monday. Some people (@pre-surgery me)  wonder why do we have wisdom teeth if they just end up getting ripped out anyway. Lemme tell ya, they serve a purpose. And for me, that purpose had nothing to do with teeth.

I never realized until those suckers got pulled that I am an obnoxiously busy person. The doctor told me to literally sit and do nothing for the first few days, and to really take it easy for a week. First thought that crossed my mind–SHOOT. What in the heck. I’ve got stuff to do, Christmas is almost here and I’m not ready. AGHHHH.

So the next day, I sat on the couch. I watched Netflix. I napped. I did my quiet time. And much to my surprise, I was at peace. I felt at rest.

Then the anesthesia wore off. My soul was on the battlefield. By the third day, my gut had started acting up, my jaw felt like it had been socked multiple times by pre-Terminator Arnold, and I was uncomfortable. I was sick of sitting, sick of feeling sick, sick of eating blended sweet potato/avocado mush. The night of day three, I sat down on the floor and sobbed. “Why?” I uttered. I thought my gut problems were a thing of the past. Why is all this happening NOW? I decided sitting cross-legged on the kitchen floor wasn’t prime location for a meltdown, so I trudged into my dark room.

“God, I know You’re good. I know that there’s a reason that I’m going through this. I’m just really having a hard time trusting You right now. Really hard. Please, Lord, help me to see You and trust You right now.”

That night, I cracked open my Bible. I’ll be honest, I was a little hesitant to. Actually, little is an understatement. I was in a MOOD and I just wanted to wallow in my own self-pity. But God had other plans. I felt like a little kid that didn’t want to eat the brussels sprouts–with a Father that loved me too much to not feed me the healthy stuff He knew my body needed, even when I wasn’t in the mood.

Hey you, quit your moping. Eat up, kiddo. Trust me.”

So I picked up my fork. And I realized that God had orchestrated this perfectly.

It was no coincidence that I was forced to un-busy myself for days. It wasn’t by chance that I’m back to square one with my gut. And it was no accident that I became unraveled days before Christmas.

“…they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” -Matthew 2:9-11

In my struggle, I had nowhere to look but up. And when I did, I saw the star–and I saw Christmas in a whole new light.

Shannon, this is My Star. A promise to you. A gift.

The dots connected. This Christmas, I’m seeing Christmas for what it truly is. The twinkle lights don’t satisfy like the shining star the wise men followed. Now I’m not against twinkle lights–they’re a fun and wintery and festive. But a strand of twinkle lights ends with a cord. At the end of the other Twinkling Light is a precious gift, life everlasting, a Wonderful Savior and Friend.

And thanks be to God, that’s really and truly all I want for Christmas this year.

So, friends, don’t fear your difficulties. Your struggles are not in vain. I know it’s not easy to see it in the thick of things, but I can promise you that those very struggles are God’s avenue of Grace.

My prayer is that this Christmas, you’d see that star and follow it with joy. Because God has given us the greatest gift of all.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. -Matthew 11:28

Love always,

Shannon   

 

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