Wednesday, December 25, 2013

I Belong

Writing has been hard.
I've been distracted, busy, sick, uninspired or Internet-less... and so it just hasn't happened.

Excuses, right?
"Go chase your dreams!" has been my mantra, and then I've failed to pursue them myself the past several weeks.

What I've probably meant to say is, "Go pursue dreams as long as it's convenient and doesn't interfere with your life and only if it's easy and only if you're constantly excited about the long road ahead of you... and if those things aren't in place, just stop while you can..."

Just kidding.
If people did that, we wouldn't be anywhere.
But, it's kind of where I've been sitting lately.

And now it's Christmas.
My first Christmas to spend with another family.
I'm no stranger to random Christmas services or being in an unfamiliar place during the holidays... but I am quite the stranger to receiving gifts from people without having given them anything in return, especially people I've only just met...and, friends, it's hard.

I sat in a room with another family and cringed as I was handed gift after gift. I don't deserve these, I wanted to cry. You barely know me, my heart screamed. I didn't get you can I take this from you? I felt awkward. Uncomfortable.

But... I felt loved. I felt wanted. I felt like I was being invited into something good. And so I held back the rebuttals (as much as I could, anyway... I think a few, 'Guys... this is too much!' slipped in a time or two) and received the gifts.

I don't deserve them.
I don't deserve to be welcomed into another's family and given to and lavished upon constantly. It's overwhelming. But it's overwhelmingly good... because it paints a clear picture of the Gospel for me. Entering into a place of such humility where one is just loved, cared for, encouraged, given to... for no good reason, by nothing I did or didn't do.

I don't deserve Jesus.
I don't deserve salvation.
I don't deserve to be welcomed into the family.
I haven't done anything. I haven't given anything.
But yet I am chosen. Invited. Welcomed. Part of.

And now one of the biggest questions is what I'm going to do with the gift. Is it enough to just receive it? Or am I called to more than that? Is it enough to just acknowledge that I'm now a part of this family, despite the fact that I don't deserve it....and to take and take and take?

I want to utilize the gift. To share the gift. To tell others about it. To invite others into it. I want the gift to extend beyond me. I want others to have what I have. To have it to the fullest.

So what am I doing about it?

It's Christmas.
This radically crazy, miraculous time where we celebrate the birth of the King, the Savior... but do we remember what it means? Do we care? Have we grown numb? Have we just come to expect expect expect to get what we want? Have we forgotten that we never deserved it all in the first place?

For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

This is what matters.
Abundantly more than anything else.
It's Good News.

I belong.
Because of Jesus, I belong.
I am loved, given to excessively, welcomed in, part of.
I am His and He is mine.

No matter what.
I hope you find that security today. In the midst of all the holiday chaos, changes, moments where things may not go the way we want or expect, reminders of what we have lost/what we don't have...I pray that you'd be reminded of that one truth and it would cover everything else in joy, in peace, in goodness. I pray that it would, somehow, prevail over all else.

Because it's Good News.
You're invited in, welcomed in, given to, able to be part of.
You belong.

Today I'm humbled.

I belong.
To something deeply beautiful and far beyond my own understanding...and I'm thankful for the earthly things that remind me of such wonderful truths.

Merry Christmas, friends.

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