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Friday, December 13, 2013

A Christmas Miracle!

Around this time 5 years ago, my mom was diagnosed with with stage IV lung cancer. The Doctors only gave her 6-8 months to live so I was determined to be with her as long as I could, no matter the cost. My husband and children stayed in Florida while I traveled to Missouri to be with my mom. I was truly blessed by my work which allowed me to transfer to a center close to my mom :)
As many of you know with Christmas, there is an added pressure to work more so that you are able to buy your loved ones gifts. Well, all our money went to me traveling and helping my mom with her prescriptions. On top of that I was only able to work about 20 hours a week because I took mom to her doctors appointments, radiation treatments, and to the hospital.  

With Christmas just a few weeks away, I was going to have to tell our kids that they wouldn't have any Christmas presents. I remember talking to my daughter on the phone and telling her that I was praying for a miracle and that we simply couldn't afford gifts this year. She said, "Mom I just want to see grandma and you for Christmas. I don't need any gifts."
I,of course, cried! I said, "Baby, God knows our heart's desire and He will provide according to His will. If He wants you all to be here, He will get you here!"

A few days later I received an email from my daughter's cheer-leading coach. She asked,"How can we pray for your family and what is one thing that each of your kids really want for Christmas? We want them to have something for Christmas so where can I send the presents? We know your family is going through a lot right now and we want to help lighten your burden."
I was humbled and began to weep. This woman barely knew us. We had only been in Florida and at Westminster Academy a few months. "Why would this family want to do this?" Many thoughts went through my mind. What can I ask her to pray about and what do my kids really want...I replied to her email with a few prayer requests and a couple items my kids had on their list. 
The only thing I wanted for Christmas was to have my family with me in Missouri. The reality of this happening seemed impossible! I prayed and others were praying for God to make a way...and I'm here to SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOF TOPS, He made a way! My husband was called to the office of the Head Master, and the school provided the money for us to purchase plane tickets for all four of our kids! That's right! GOD MADE A WAY! Not only that but within a week, a package came to my brother's home for my kids! 
Matthew 19:26, "But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

One tradition that our family looks forward to every year; we all gather around the tree and under our tree we have a manger scene. We then read Luke chapter two, praise God for sending Jesus to be our Lord and Savior, and then each of us take a piece of paper and write something we want to give to Jesus for His birthday.

Christmas 2008, in Richmond, Missouri, my kids and I sat in my brother's living room before everyone got up and did just that but without my husband, who was coaching an all-star game in South Carolina, and
without the manger. It was sad because he wasn't there but it was still a very special moment. My oldest son read the story of Jesus' birth, we thanked God for all that He had provided us, then we gave our "gift" to Jesus.  After lots of tears my kids opened their gifts from "Santa" and we were all full of joy, unspeakable JOY!

We can never repay the kindness and compassion that was shown to our family during one of the most difficult times of my life! I can never give a monetary amount of money to suffice the purchase of four plane tickets to get my kids to Missouri from south Florida that Christmas day. I will always be full of gratitude towards these "strangers" that took the time to pray for us and then became the vessel for God to answer our prayers and allow our kids the opportunity to spend Christmas with their grandma!

Christmas is about being a vessel to bless another...whether you know them or not...be that vessel for God to answer someone's prayers. Then you will understand that it is more of a blessing to give than receive! Maybe you can be the answer that allows for a Christmas Miracle! 
Blessings to you and yours during this Christmas season!