In five days, we'll celebrate Christmas. This holiday is set aside to celebrate the birth of Christ, God Himself who came to earth in human form to live, teach, and die, so that we might have eternal life. Less than a month from now will be the 5th anniversary of Amanda's murder. This will be our 5th Christmas without her.
I've seen lots of people posting some version of something asking people to remember that not everyone is happy at Christmas, and I've had lots of people these past several Christmases offering to pray for me. And while those prayers are appreciated, and have been appreciated the past 5 Christmases. I'd ask you to pray a different prayer this year if Amanda comes to mind.
Though there will always be a hole in our hearts that Amanda once filled, though our lives forever changed that fateful night five years ago, though damage was done that can never be repaired, we have learned to get by and get through even these most celebratory days.
I can honestly say the only reason we have reached that point, where we can get by and get through, is the hope in the promise of the very One for whom this holiday is named. Salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ, that promise is only available because God humbled Himself to come to earth and live alongside man and then die a humble and humiliating death, taking upon himself the punishment for the sins of all who believe in Him. We will make it through this Christmas because of what Jesus did for us.
But not everyone has that hope, because not everyone believes. Instead of eternity in Heaven, many will perish and spend eternity burning in Hell because they refused to believe in the One who came to save them. Some who have lost children, and others who will lose children will, refuse to believe because of their loss here on earth.
As our society drifts farther and farther from celebrating the true Reason for the season, choosing instead to celebrate with decorations and presents while forgetting the very One for whom the holiday is named, I'd ask you to pray for these people. Not just those who've lost children and have no hope, not just for those who will lose children and refuse to place their faith in Christ who can give them hope, but for ALL who don't believe.
So, when you pray this Christmas season, don't worry about us. We're going to be okay. We know Amanda is safe in Heaven and we will one day be reunited. Instead, pray for all those who refuse to believe and refuse to accept the gift of salvation, the greatest gift any of us could ever hope to receive. Pray that something they see, someone they know, or just anything they see or hear this Christmas season, will open their eyes to see the Light and open their ears to hear the Truth and soften their hearts to accept the Way to an eternity in Heaven.