My mom and brother swung dad’s stiff body from his bed and into his wheelchair. The aggression of his ALS diagnosis led us to believe that last year would be our last to celebrate with him. We are so thankful to have one more Christmas.
However, it doesn’t make it any easier to see his body laying on the bed unable to turn or lift his head, and the only thing he could move was his eyes.
My brother Mike lifted his 6’6 ridged, yet limp frame into the wheelchair while a sweet smile was still intact, seeing his family gathered around him. Mike wheeled him out into the living room for us all to gather around the Christmas tree.
“Merry Christmas, Dad! Which scripture would you like us to read this morning before we start opening gifts?”
His voice was the first to go when diagnosed last year. The eye-gazer machine is a computer, caliberated to his eye-gaze in order to spell out words so we have a way of communicating.
“Luke 2.” The computer spoke for the voice we all miss so much.
From Dad’s Bible, Mike read Luke 2; about the miraculous birth of Christ. It was tradition as a family to read the Bible on Christmas morning, to pray, mom make us tea, our first gift be chocolate covered cherries that we all devour while opening gifts, and listening to a Carpenters Christmas.
It was a blast praying for a meaningful word for each family member, and translating it into our Hungarian language. Working with a local artist in Columbus called Partners In Charms, to hand stamp each word into a necklace, and then Dad’s favorite scripture on the back. Each family member received a hand written prayer with the Hungarian word and how it described them uniquely inside individual family photo books.
The gifts concluded with reading what Dad’s favorite scripture meant to him, the very scripture that was around their necks. He typed with eyes one letter at a time.
It’s the little things that make us smile, but my challenge this year was not only making my family feel loved through personalized gifts, but to celebrate the birth of Jesus and what this day actually means to me.
We all want to be free, but it’s usually somewhere deep inside where we are held captive. Our fears and sins keep us from being free, but in his birth, is a hope to be free and released.
His birth to me means freedom. And I want freedom for myself, the people I love, and people that want it but don’t know how to get it. Whether it’s emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. When freed these ways, we are freed physically.
I have been going through years of inner healing through my relationship with Christ. Healed of deep areas I didn’t know about. These steps have been steps of freedom, not just a religion. It’s literally practicing a faith that takes faith and the power of belief.
What we believe, is what we think, therefor is how we act and do.
Freedom is being able to live without enslavement or bondage to lies, false mindsets, corruption, fear, and sin. While that sentence is a huge sentence to unpack, I will do my best to make it simple.
God really does have big things for us and we can have big dreams too. We can’t move towards any of it if we are tied down to lies, fear, or sin.
In order to move forward to these big dreams or living in truth and purpose, we need to cut the ties that hold us down. Truth is what cuts it and releases us. We can pretend all we want that those things don’t exist, but until we man-up and face it, we will never know true freedom. Without truth we still believe lies and living lies that we will never know truth. Living without truth, we will never know freedom or living for dreams. Without true freedom, we are still slaves to something.
What ties you down? I hate being tied down!!! This is why I eagerly desire Jesus, because he helps me see the truth in myself and in him, to CUT such ties and move forward. Self-help books can’t help the stuff I’ve been through. Christ was born so that YOU can be free.
That is one big reason I love celebrating Christmas. Jesus’s birth is FOR us. Something more than a religion, but a relationship that taught me hope, truth, love, and all things good. And I’m not done learning and being transformed, and I’m not done dreaming. Better yet, God’s not done with me either. He’s been showing me how to face my fears and hang-ups, emotionally, spiritually, and physically, to be able to live a life He created me for.
How could anyone not want to live for what they were made for?
I know He has more, and that excites me. He has more for you too, I promise.
Whether it’s facing my nightmares, confronting lies, forgiving myself for stupid stuff I’ve said or done, asking forgiveness, dealing with poisonous words from hateful and judgmental people, healing from emotional trauma’s…. it’s because of his birth I can fully live too. He transformed my thinking into something deeper, to dare to believe and dream.
What ties you down? Seriously, do you ever wonder what holds you back?