For most people that are chronically sick, the holidays are the hardest times of the year physically, but most of all emotionally.
I've been talking to my friends with Lyme or other diseases and we all want the same thing for Christmas. We want to be healed. We want to wake up on Christmas morning and be able to run downstairs like we used to. We want to wake up on Christmas morning and not have to worry about our medicine schedules. We want to wake up on Christmas morning and for the first time since we got sick, not be in enough pain that requires pain medicine. We want to wake up on Christmas morning and know that we will actually have memories from that day. Because of the disease or medicines, there are a lot of days that we don't remember. We want to wake up on Christmas morning and have energy again to run around and play with our younger cousins like we used to. We want to wake up on Christmas morning and not have to worry about the fatigue that might make us cut family time short. We just want to not be in pain all the time. And we're not talking about relief that comes from pain medicine. We want to be pain free without medicine that makes us not ourselves.
When people ask us what we want for Christmas, we don't really know what to say. We want something that can't be bought. Nothing material that we can be given will truly make us happy.
My friend Allison says, "The hardest part is knowing that I'm probably NOT going to remember any of it (Christmas)".
My friend Rebecca says, "To me being sick around Christmas means that you can't really go anywhere cause you will never know how you will feel and what you would be able to do".
But when we really think about it, our view on Christmas has completely changed since we got sick. It has changed for the better. We are more thankful for what we do have. We realize that Christmas isn't about material things even if the world says it is.
"My view of Christmas is that I am grateful for what I have and I don't really care how much stuff I get it's just the thought that counts," Rebecca says.
Caity says, "I don't really want any gifts. I'd rather people give my gifts to people that are suffering."
Even though we want this so badly, we know that we were already given the best gift we could ask for. We have been given the gift of Christ. Through Him, we have been given hope. Through Him we have been given joy. Through Him we have been given peace. Through Him we have been given a promise. We have been promised that if we follow Him, we WILL be healed one day. Our one Christmas wish has already been granted, even though it might not happen in this lifetime.
I think sometimes we think that we should just trust God's plan and that is enough. That is true. But it's still okay to ask for a miracle and for God to heal us on earth. God wants us to ask Him.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
"And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22
This year we will be more thankful for the gifts and thoughtfulness of people. We will be more thankful that we are here with family and friends. We will be more thankful for the gift of Jesus and what that means for us.
So really, this Christmas we have what we want plus much more. We just have to change our perspective. If we hadn't gotten sick, we might still be wrapped up in the earthly things around this time of year. We are so blessed to have this new perspective, even though we wish things were different.