Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Regrets

I regret my behavior at the late summer staff retreat where Christmas plans were discussed and I left the room in tears.

My husband had only been on staff at this church for a number of weeks. Everything was so new and we were living so far from our extended families. The talk of a mandatory attendance at Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services was just more than I could handle, much less process, in that setting.

My husband, the lead pastor and his wife all followed me. Soon I was completely embarrassed and I am sure my husband was too. Then I felt even worse. At the sight of my tears, the pastor made concessions that we wouldn't have to be there - but I am sure that this gesture of his, while well-intended, did nothing to endear us to the other staff families. Another fact that I am sure of is that my behavior solidified their view of me as being young and, as a result, my input was not valued or wanted on that leadership retreat or any other planning meeting that followed.

We went "home" that Christmas and I was blessed to be around my parents and my in-laws. I just wish I had been able to see the house my husband and I lived in as "home." I wish I could have seen our church there as "family" and not longed for something more. While my desires are understandable, I know that I wasn't looking to my heavenly Father to care for me. I was anything but content in those circumstances.

I don't know your situation this Christmas. Maybe you are far from your parents and you are mourning failed expectations of your kids being with their grandparents this week. Perhaps you even have grandparents heaping on the guilt for not being there - wherever "there" is. It may be easy to look around you and resent the church and the people you are called to love and serve.

Remember what is truly important and don't regret how you handled the situation. Cling to the Father and His gift. Keep Him as your focus and know that He is keeping score. Nothing we lose for His sake goes without His notice. He has promised to pay us back and then some.

No regrets this Christmas.

No comments: