I have especially found this Christmas season, that I haven't done a whole lot of focusing on the 'reason for the season'. I did all of my Christmas shopping in one day, and it was a bit of an awful day and by the end, the last thing I wanted to do was go anywhere near a store for at least 6 months. I purchased things to purchase them, and not because they were well thought out gifts that I had been planning or things that I had been making. Shopping for TWO families was extra stressful and when it was all over, even though I love this time of year, I felt more like a grinch than anything else.
Then something funny happened.
Last week I was being way to connected (aka I was cruising Facebook for the um-teenth time) and I saw a post by an elder from my MTC group about a song he had written with a friend. I have listened to other stuff he has posted, so I thought, what the hey and I listened to this song:
Awesome right? Well the weird thing is, that though I was listening to the song, I found myself hearing it through a set of ears that I haven't used for awhile. I was missionary me, I was sitting in the MTC and I was watching this same Elder hit that point. You know the point, the one where you realize the magnitude of what you are doing, and you realize how important it really is to you. I remember the experience pretty clearly. We had just finished up at a weekly devotional, and Elder Williams was asked to say what had impressed him, and he just started to cry. I had never seen him cry before, so I remember the room getting very quite. He then told us the story of his mom. On a regular day the spring before he had been prompted to go home and hang out with his mom in stead of going out with his friends. He told us how it wasn't anything special, but that he had just spent time with her. The next day, her vehicle was involved in a car accident and she passed away. I sat there mesmerized as this Elder, this boy, bore a testimony so strong of the atonement and the plan of salvation and how grateful he was that he was able to spend that day with her. He expressed his gratitude for the knowledge that he would see her again and for the opportunity to share this knowledge with the people of Chile.
As I stood in my kitchen, listening to this song and having this moment, I could not stop the tears. In this time when all I could do was think about what I needed to do, what I needed to purchase, what still needed to be done, I was so grateful for this reminder. This season has meant a lot of different things to me over the years. I am glad that this year, it no longer means the end of another lonely year, but the start of a new year that is more filled with love than ever be for. It means gathering with my team, and separating ourselves a little bit from the world. It means knowing that my eternal family has become a little bit more eternal, and a little bit closer to that heaven I hope to be headed to.
I know that I have a Savior who has shown me the way home. I am so grateful for that knowledge, for that home, and for the opportunity that I have to feel a little closer to it every year. I think that is what the Christmas season is all about. We all feel a little brighter, a little merrier and a little closer to that God who gave us life.
And that to me is home.