Can you pinpoint an exact moment in your life that changed you forever? It could be after a big move, when you married the love of your life or lost them, or received a diagnosis more harsh than you could handle. Mine was on December 15, 2016 at 7:44 p.m.- the very moment I met my first daughter.
I believe most parents would say meeting their children was a special occasion and a significant date in their lives. I knew it would be the ultimate moment of joy in my life, and I believed I would slip right into motherhood with ease. As a child, I was already excellent at planning and would switch between dressing up as a mom or a teacher on career day. I dreamed big and am currently a teacher and a mom; while I feel I was very prepared for what a career as a teacher would look like-the latter not so much. Growing up, I had this unique gift of entertaining children and not hating it. To their great disliking, I was always a mother hen to my siblings, and I often volunteered to babysit and volunteer in our church’s nursery. I knew I was made to be a mom. It couldn’t be difficult, right?
Then I met my first baby, Jordyn. She was tiny, beautiful, precious, messy, hungry, needy, and she absolutely hated to sleep. On December 14, 2016, I thought I knew exactly how to be a mom and sacrifice for my baby. Then suddenly I met this helpless little girl who needed me to sacrifice more than I had to give her, and she wasn’t going to give me one little thing in return. There was no ‘thank you’ when I only slept in hour stretches. There were no gifts for me when I walked into church covered in baby spit every Sunday. There was most definitely not a single act of service award received when I missed most of every holiday and party to feed her ridiculously hungry self. Never had I ever experienced loving someone so much that I would give them all of me knowing I would get nothing in return. Experiencing loving someone so incredibly much that I would sacrifice so incredibly much changed the way I viewed God’s love forever.
If you can have a favorite part of the account of man’s fall in Genesis, mine has always been when God clothed Adam and Eve. Genesis 3:21 says “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” My very human side of me most likely would have said “figure out how to make your own clothes” to Adam and Eve. Yet even after their disobedience and turning their backs on him…even after they made a disgusting mess of all humanity for him to clean up…even though they walked with him daily and still chose another voice to follow…God loved them so much that he still chose to clothe them. What’s more astonishing is that this simple demonstration of his character goes far beyond this. God did more than just give them clothes. In the very second- even before- Eve ate of the fruit in total rebellion, He set into motion a rescue plan to bring us all back to Him. His plan was driven by love and carried out through a baby. This baby wasn’t just any baby, but He was the Messiah, Emmanuel, God’s only son. While Jordyn’s birth changed me, this baby would truly change my life for all eternity.
Christmas was set into motion thousands of years ago. The plan was ancient, calculated, and an act of true love. When our Father knew his broken children needed him – he gave us everything. He gave us himself, his precious son, and a way back to him. As fallen humans, there’s nothing we can do to repay Him for His sacrificial love yet he still gave us everything.
It’s hard for me to believe that someone could love me far more than I love my own children or that someone could love my own children far more than I love them. I sacrifice and I give and I love them with all I got. Six years ago, I wasn’t changed because I became a mom and had to give up my comfortable life for someone else. I was changed because for the very first time I could understand what God did for me, and I saw a glimpse of God’s great love that I had never known before. I was able to truly see what it meant when people say Love came down at Christmastime. Our Father gave us an undeniable gift of his love for us. A gift of love for you, for me, and for the world.
Whether this Christmastime, you’re in a season of joy or sorrow; peace or chaos; hope or desperation- you will always find Love waiting for you. It’s waiting for you at the manger, at the cross, and right where you are. In a masterful act of sacrifice, Love came for you at Christmastime, and Love will come again.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16