Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Christmas Sacrifice

Christmas in Uganda is the time I feel the sacrifice of living overseas the most. The rest of the year it’s only on occasion that I really have to fight feeling sorry for myself. I wish I was a super-star missionary that never had any thought of being anywhere else but here. I wish I could say that I was always 100% content exactly where I am. I wish I was always happy in being where God wants me. But the truth is that I’m not. The truth is that there are moments when I’d give anything just to be in commercialized, snowy, wonderful Colorado Springs with the hugs, comfort, and familiarity of my friends and family.

I look at the faces of the people who I love here and for the briefest of moments wish I was looking at the faces of my family instead. I sit in the two room, cooking-smoke filled house of some of my dearest friends and wish for a second I was on the comfy couch in front of the Christmas tree. I drive the sunbaked dusty red roads in the hottest time of year and long for snow banks and rows of traffic lights. I jump and dance to the upbeat rhythm of African praise songs and wish I could just be back at my grand piano playing Christmas carols.

And while I love skyping with my family on their Christmas morning, watching everyone celebrate, open stockings and presents, enjoying Christmas quiche and cinnamon rolls, it’s a little like watching someone else’s dream. You’re not really a part. The mooing cow outside the window, the booming music of the neighborhood night club, the acrid smell of burning trash, and the sweat beads piling on my neck pull me back to my African reality.

But this Christmas, I got to bless a family with their most prized meal of the year: chicken! I got to see my precious little Miracle spin around in her Christmas present: a blue Christmas dress that makes her exclaim that she looks like a princess. I got to hear the squeals of joy as Sarah examined her new earrings. I got to be loved wholly and completely and sacrificially by my family in Uganda. And that was all on top of being shown every bit of love, compassion, and generosity by my birth family in the States!

So today as I write, I remember just how extravagantly I have been blessed. The truth is that I haven’t lost anything. The truth is that I get the best of two worlds while you’ll have to content with one J The truth is that I’ve only added another set of family and friends to love me. The truth is that my small sacrifice is paid back ten-fold. That’s Jesus’ truth. That’s the miracle He achieved because He sacrificed His world to enter mine that first Christmas day. What a joyous truth to celebrate this Christmas! Merry Christmas everyone!

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