In my last post I said I was going to try to find the true meaning of Christmas. I was going to enjoy the season and try to do something festive everyday to keep my spirits up. Up until last Friday I can honestly say I was living up Christmas for everything it was worth.
The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementry School literally tore my heart apart and like many dampened my holiday spirit. While Eric and I are not parents, I can't fathom the idea of finally having a child of our own after so many years of trying and someone literally taking that precious gift away from me. My heart breaks for all the parents who are burying their child this Christmas instead of watching them open up their Christmas gifts.
I found my faith being shaken again, as it has in the past with other life events. As many I needed answers as to why killings like this keep happening, why innocent children this time? In the evenings I would tune into the news, which is something I hate doing because it's never good. I found myself reading more news articles than my Christmas books on my Kindle. Praying that something good would come out of all of this, even if it was as small as others being more kind to one another.
As the week continued I searched for good in the world. If you know me well, you know I hate Christmas shopping. My holiday shopping consists of me ordering presents online and having them delivered. I hate the crowds, the traffic and the overall rudeness of people in a hurry. You would think given it's the holiday season and we're all out for the same reason, people would be kind to one another and spread cheer, I think this only happens in the movies, silly me. Little did I know, God had a plan for me, a lesson to be learned. This week I had to go to the stores to finish up some shopping that couldn't be done online. While shopping I kept running into rude people at the stores, I was going out of my mind!! My Facebook post from Wednesday, and I quote: "Going to the stores this time of year drives me to drink!!! Free shipping is my BFF!!" I think I feel the most sorry for people who work in the stores, because I'm telling you, I literally just stared at people, thinking, was there a reason you had to be so rude!? I would give some examples of everything I experience, but I want this to end in a good way, so let's keep moving forward shall we?
Message # 1: Every year I get my brother-in-law a bottle of his favorite wine (his Birthday is New Years Day) and a box of ribbon candy, a guilty pleasure he enjoys once a year. For the past couple of years I've had to search high and low for this candy. For whatever reason I haven't been able to find it at Walmart. This year was no exception, every store I went to, no ribbon candy. My last stop was Target last Tuesday. I searched all the candy aisles, no ribbon candy. Feeling defeated as I stood in line with my one item to purchase something made me look behind me and there was my friend Renea and her daughter Bella. Literally doing a dance of joy, I ran to her and gave her a big hug. We talked for a while and then headed out to our cars. I told her I was in search of ribbon candy, and explained our tradition. Later that evening she called me to let me know she had found my ribbon candy! She went to Michael's after leaving Target and she said they had a whole bunch of it. I was thrilled, the next day I went out and bough Adam two boxes on the off chance I wouldn't find it next year. Granted it sounds silly, it's just ribbon candy after all but as I explained tradition is very important to me, especially during the holidays. I don't like letting people down. Seeing Renea when I was just about to give up reminded me that even though you might get frustrated during the search and the answer might not come as quickly as you want it too, it will come and you can't lose hope.
Message # 2: On my way home yesterday I was talking to my Mom as I typically do. She asked me to stop at my Walgreens because she was in search of a specific item. Not really wanting to stop because I was finally done with my store shopping and I was excited to go straight home, I told her I would. While a friendly store associate was asking his manager about this out of stock item I watched a woman walk up to the register with a cart of items. She rudely asked if I was in line and I said, sorry, no and moved out of her way. She proceeded to ask the next person and finally made her way to the register. All I kept thinking was I need to get the hell out of this store before I lose it! I again couldn't understand why someone had to be so rude. After leaving Walgreens I told myself to stop and get gas so I didn't have to do it in the morning. I also had to cash in my winning lottery ticket (don't get excited, it was only $2.00!) and I thought I would purchase a few more for Eric. I pumped my gas, battling the harsh wind and snow and made my way inside. I made my purchases, ventured back to my car and started to pull away when I noticed a woman running to my car. Thinking this woman was a little nuts, I rolled down my window anyway. (Now thinking about it, this is how people get robbed this day in age, just saying.) I saw her arm raise up and in her hand was my debit card, it must of fallen out of my pocket. I looked at her and said "Oh my gosh, thank you so much!" She smiled and handed it back to me. All I kept thinking was wow, it's storming out and she noticed I dropped it and literally ran to my car to return this to me. All I wanted to do was get home to get out of this weather. This reminded me that there is still kindness in the world and there are those out there that are still willing to go out of their way for a perfect stranger.
Granted what I take as my "messages" are small compared to some life changing miracle, something that confirms your faith to the core... but they're important to me and helped me this week. As my Dad says, when you ask God for help, he isn't going to immediately give you the answer, he's going to show you the way to get your answer. We may not get an "answer" as to why the shooting occurred and why so many children lost their lives too early. One thing is for sure though, in times of darkness this country does come together in love, prayer, kindness and hope. During the last few days of this holiday season, and everyday heading into the new year, hug your family extra tighter, let your friends know how much they mean to you, don't ever lose hope that someone is looking out for you and remember the greatest gift you can give is love.