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Christmas Eve Reflections

2020. We began this year full of hope, as we often do every January with our New Year's resolutions and newfound sense of passion and resolve. I don't need to nor will I recount all the events and hardships our world has faced this year. We have all dealt with so much.

Personally, there are many things about this year that haunt me and none of them have to do with the pandemic. This year has tested me in ways I never foresaw. I have been very open with most people about the challenges I face with mental health. And while mental health battles always have their ups and downs, this year brought me to my knees. It forced me to give up so much until I felt I had nothing left to lose. Even now, months after all this has ensued, I still find myself grieving. I am in a much better place now than I was, and I cannot express enough gratitude to my family, for being an incredible support system, and my dear friend Stacey, who was there on my darkest days and shared the tears and the pain alongside of me.

For anyone who follows my blog or any of my socials, you know I love the series Signed, Sealed, Delivered. In the Christmas movie, there's a song by Indigo Girls called "There's Still My Joy." With Christmas just hours away, I'm reminded of the lyrics from this song:

"For all my tears, for what I've lost

There's still my joy

There's still my joy

For Christmas day."

The joy of Christmas, of the birth of Jesus and the knowledge that comes from the meaning of His birth, outshines every pain, hurt, and sadness of this year. There's joy in knowing that we have a God who loved us so much that He sent us His very own Son to die for us. Life is messy and it will bend us until we are about to break. But as Jordan the angel reminds us in the Christmas movie, "You never are [alone], no matter what you've lost. Christmas is an opportunity to remember that love came down to find you right here, where you are...". Isn't that beautiful?

As I reflect on this year, I'm also reminded of the amazing human beings I've met and worked with virtually. Myself and my two beautiful friends, Kami and Kaycee, started a podcast together and we've never once met in person. 2020 has been a time of social distancing, but it's also been a time of connection too. And I'm so grateful for this podcast and all the lovely people I got to meet and interview because of it, especially the fantastic cast of Signed, Sealed, Delivered.

Recent interview (one of my favorites) with stars Zak Santiago and Sara Canning from The Christmas Yule Blog on Lifetime.

Because of my love of SSD, I've also recently started watching Martha Williamson's other well known show - Touched by an Angel. The speeches that Monica the angel gives to the humans she helps are intensely powerful and have led me to a considerable amount of reflection on my own life. As I watch more and more episodes, I've noticed just how much Monica says, "God loves you." At first, I was kind of like, "Well, this is getting redundant." But then it hit me. It is redundant, but that is precisely what we as humans need. We need that constant reminder of God's love for us. We are used to living in a world where love is conditional and all too often comes with strings attached. But the Father's love is wonderfully unconditional and His love for us never wavers, no matter how many mistakes we make. As someone who struggles with insecurity and confidence, there is something so compelling in hearing Monica say over and over, in that soft Irish accent, those three simple words. God loves you.

My friends, as we enter into the Christmas season let us remember the great love of God and strive to emulate that love in how we treat those around us, regardless of how kind they are to us. 2020 has been a year of pain. Let us make 2021 a year of healing, love, and hope. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Love, Jess

Disclaimer: Signed, Sealed, Delivered and all associated characters/dialogue belong to Martha Williamson and Crown Media.

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