The older I get, the more emotional I become. Lump in the throat, watery eyes, sheepishly blame it on seasonal allergies (all year long) kind of moments. Maybe I’ve always been this sappy, perhaps it’s some leftover neurological messiness from my medical issues last spring, maybe my two teenage daughters are just morphing into daily reminders of time’s fleeting passage…
…or maybe it’s something completely different.
I think it takes a fair-bit of living to really grasp just how desperate and broken you are:
To realize how much you’ve been hurt by other people and are capable of wounding them, too.
To understand that regardless of how wonderful and put together your life may appear and even feel at times (just check your Facebook feed), that you’re still silently plagued by “what if,” and “not good enough.”
To acknowledge the constant companions of fear, and shame, and insecurity, even amidst your life’s greatest successes.
I used to think that intelligence and enlightenment would eliminate my dependence, that I would eventually grow out of my need for outside help. But with every passing year, my newly gained experience simply reveals more and more of my desperate need for a savior (and my own incompetence in trying to play the role for myself). Wisdom has revealed my weakness.
So (this time of year, especially) as I’m inundated with epic melodies and timeless lyrics, like:
“Fall on your knees, oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine, oh night when Christ was born!”
“All is well, all is well
Angels and men rejoice
For tonight darkness fell
Into the dawn of love’s light”
(If you haven’t heard Carrie Underwood and Michael W. Smith’s new rendition of this, I challenge you to listen with the Christmas lights on and a fire in the fireplace without feeling a few warm, salty tears running down your face).
Or when I read the Christmas story to my kids:
“Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
…I can’t help but get a little choked up.
I have hope, in spite of my failures.
I have hope, but not in my successes.
Weak and in need of power, I run to Power that embraced weakness.
How can you help but get a little emotional this time of year? Or any time of year for that matter?
I don’t have to live in my insecurities. I don’t have to earn my identity. I don’t have to suffer in shame. I don’t have to climb my way up to God. Everything I need, in Christ, I already have. Love came down. Emmanuel. God is with us.
Now please excuse me, I need to grab a tissue.