here i am, sitting on the familiar maroon couches of the resident lounge at children’s medical center, eight forty-one on christmas eve. back in the fall, when i looked ahead to this night, i was sure i would be sitting here, teary-eyed, in disbelief at my first ever christmas away from home. believe it or not, my eyes are welling up a bit, but not with sadness — with gratefulness.
without detailing every event and conversation that has brought me to this moment, it is worth mentioning a few.
at the risk of getting mushy, i have to start by singing the sincere praises of my incredible husband. as the years have passed in our marriage, my work/education has demanded more and more of my time. my schedule over the past year and a half has been especially grueling, and there are months in which i barely have time to eat dinner with him before i head out the door to work. not only has he encouraged me through those hard days and abstained from making guilt-laden comments about my working so much… he has also cared for me abundantly and selflessly. even with his busy work schedule, he makes dinner for me, builds fires when i’m chilly, keeps our house tidy (thus keeping me sane), and much more. i am so blessed to have a husband who leads, nurtures, and serves me so well.
tonight, before i left for my night shift, i savored christmas dinner with our “third family”. when i moved to dallas, i had no plans to find deep, life-changing friendships while in medical school — and i was fine with that. but, of course, God had plans that i could not fathom. five years down the road, we’re surrounded by incredible friends who bring us joy and shape us (proverb 27.17). included in those are the families of our friends, who have embraced us as their own — and we LOVE them. nothing can replace our own families, but having a little family here in dallas, who invite me in to their holiday festivities as if i were a daughter/sister, is priceless.
and as i drove up to children’s medical center tonight, i felt an unexpected wave of joy to be caring for these children who, instead of sitting at home opening presents, are here feeling pain and sickness. no, i don’t usually feel that way as i drive in — i’m usually tired, wishing i didn’t have to go work, wishing my schedule wasn’t so crazy. but somehow, tonight, i felt privileged to be serving these families in a time that is so difficult for them. it reminded me of the passion that i felt when caring for the children in ghana this summer. despite the fact that this vocation makes me miss family events and holidays, i feel glad to have the opportunity to love others through my time and skills.
working on christmas will never be easy, i’m sure of that. and yet, i am reminded of the deep, wide love of God, that takes a broken, desperate world and makes it a place of redemption and grace. and i am thankful.
p.s. right in the middle of writing this blog, i cried just a few tears — of sadness — when i realized that i accidentally booked my flight to san diego (on wednesday) for eleven pm instead of eleven am! oops. well, i don’t know why i thought i could make it through christmas away from home without a few tears when pregnant. : ) silly me. still thankful.
my night float team at children’s.