Merry Christmas everyone from Ernest and me. We hope that wherever you are in this world that you have a day of reflection, fun and above all, a day filled with love and loving memories. Ernest and I dreamt of spending Christmas in a different country each year and we've been able to do that more frequently since 2017. This year we are enjoying time with family in Canada.
I love how different Christmas is celebrated in each country. There are similarities, yet it's different. Different foods, cultures and climates. Last year we were on the beaches of Brazil. Everything is so big there, it's decorated and because it's summer, the outdoor decorations sparkle in the sunshine and people near to the coast head to the beaches. We had the pleasure of being served beach food all day long. I loved my time with Ernest's family and can't wait to return there to meet them again.
Here in Canada it is cold but God always blesses us no matter where we live in this world. Without the cold climate, there wouldn't be the beauty of snow. Add Christmas lights and ornaments to that and a roaring fireplace, the smell of the traditional Canadian Christmas meal, family around us and going to church. I am happy that my sister is cooking the turkey this year. I've never done it before and today is not the day to mess around with the dinner preparation.
In rememberance of the reason for Christmas, there's a part of my favourite Christmas hymn, "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" that reminds me of my own experience with God:
Mild he lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
That second birth is something I never understood until I had an encounter with God on December 21st, 2012. It was a terrible time in my life. I found myself in a situation I could not believe I got myself into and the consequences were detrimental. I was walking to work very early that morning, having a conversation with God in my head, not knowing if He really existed. I had no other person I could speak to about what happened because I myself didn't understand it fully. As far as I was concerned, whether God was real or not, at least I could mutter my issues to Him and not tell a person who might judge me.
As I stepped out into the streets from walking underground, an extremely bright light overtook me. It was so bright that I could not keep my eyes open. For some reason I was not afraid. In my head I said "I don't know what is going on with me. I don't understand what is happening." A voice replied "It's okay, you are being born again." I had no clue what that meant. I felt someone or something gently touching me on my head, bowing my head. Again I asked "What is happening to me?" Twice the same voice replied with the same assurance and answer. Being in this cocoon of light, I felt as if I had a heart transformation and new blood was given to me. When the process of being transformed was over, I had this incredible joy that I could not contain. I saw everything differently and love had a new meaning in my life. Love was no longer between two people nor was it sexual. Love was a gift and I began to learn its meanings in my life's journey.
In Jeremiah 29 it says "If you search for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you." I promise you, these words are true. Merry Christmas!