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So this is Christmas…

December 19, 2007

It’s a no-brainer: this is far and away the best and the happiest Christmas I have ever had. I love writing thank-you notes, and I have had occasion to write many of them this year, to people for whose fellowship and special forbearance, and, yes, gifts, I have been so very grateful. A new closing quite spontaneously emerged from my pen and keyboard this year, “yours in the eternal bond of our Savior’s love.” That is what Christmas is about: the eternal bond of the Savior’s love.

Through His people He has graciously placed in my life, God has towed me upstream through one of the most trying times of my life, the months leading to my diagnosis of Addison’s disease, up to the immediate present, as I adjust to a normal dose of hydrocortisone and gain improved strength. It is not maudlin, but factual, to say that in August I thought I was dying. Now I am functioning as a normal person, at least within my small sphere of routine. Blessed be the Lord for the trial and the resolution and most of all for the thankfulness I have been given. The thankfulness is more of a blessing even than the restoration of my health.

I have been blessed lately to spend time with some old friends I have not seen in a few years, and to find no gap in the bond. In some cases, I resolved not to discuss my health at all. In one very special case, I spent four hours with a friend I had not seen in two years, generating a joyous riot zone in a local restaurant. She also has Addison’s disease. This is incredible, since the prevalence of Addison’s in the United States is usually given as 1 in 100,000. She has had Addison’s for many years, and I knew this; I was diagnosed this fall, and she was non-plussed. More incredibly, we both see the same endocrinologist and arrived at his practice independently–a 1 in 100 probability if one were looking only at the group of 10 endocrinologists to which ours belongs–and there are several other groups in Seattle, so the probability is actually far smaller than 1 in 100. We’re both ADD kids who never outgrew our ADD, too, and we even both have the same national heritage, though in different proportions. We both have upright husbands who uphold us in our burdens and cheer us on to meet their and our high expectations. No, we’re not long-lost twins, but we assuredly share an uncanny eternal bond in our Savior’s love.

I came home this afternoon from a pleasant gathering of some friends I haven’t seen in a couple of years, since the funeral of a woman who belonged to their church, our former church. On my front porch stood a tall package. I could not imagine what my husband ordered without mentioning it–it was larger than the carton our new generator arrived in. But it was a gift from a friend I’ve known since junior high school. It was a live Christmas tree from Harry & David’s, sized for a tabletop, decorated with ornaments and tiny lights. She somehow knew this was to be a festive Christmas for us. What she did not know is that my Cat eats plants and becomes very sick. He once ate a Monterrey pine down to the nub. There is not a spot in our house that he cannot manage to reach if there is a plant to tempt his palate.

My neighbor across the street has MS, and I noticed this year that she had not decorated her window for Christmas as she has in previous years. I went over to ask her whether she would like a small Christmas tree. She did, as a matter of fact, have two Christmas trees up, but said she would be happy to have one for her dining room table. I brought the tree over, and she was delighted. I wrote my old friend, thanking her for her thoughtfulness, and for blessing me with the ability to bless my neighbor. I explained my Cat’s inordinate propensity for eating trees to their and his own destruction, saying that I knew she would understand. I thought it best not to make a tradition of plant gifts.

May I not say, “whate’ere my God ordains is right” with resignation, but always with joy and gratitude. Christmas is such a wonderful time.

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2 Comments
  1. Janet permalink
    December 21, 2007 12:36 pm

    Lauren,

    Thank you! This is just the loveliest Christmas letter I have ever read. May God continue to shower His grace up you!

  2. December 21, 2007 1:11 pm

    Janet,

    Thank you for being one of those for whom I am so very grateful. Your abiding friendship has upheld me in so many ways. May God continue to bless and keep you!

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