In a previous posting, I think I mentioned being a bit irked at the crazy commercial-ness of Christmas in Japan. I tend to make a point of having our Christmas cards say "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays." (I've told Jake on occasion that P.C. is for...uh...wimps.) I suppose that my point is that I don't know about everyone else, but I'm celebrating Christmas, which is to say, I am celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
To really get to the point, I'm trying to say that since my last million blogs have been the 12 blogs of Christmas, at least one of them ought to be about Jesus Christ, right? Well, here goes:
A couple of years ago, my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The news was a major shock to the whole family because less than a year previous, we had been assured that her cancer was in remission and that all her surgeries and subsequent treatments had been successful. I prayed and pleaded with God to make her well, to give us a miracle, or let this news be a mistake. With each test and doctor visit, however, the news became more and more grim. The average survival for what my mom had was only six months. If she underwent more chemotherapy, she might survive from six months to maybe two years.
Eventually, my pleading for a miracle to make my mom well turned into requests for help in setting her affairs in order. We had to sell her house, finalize her divorce, and finally, find adequate health insurance to cover her treatment in Colorado. All three were daunting tasks, and none of them was smooth sailing. The house sale hit every snag imaginable, her divorce turned ugly, and it seemed that no matter where I turned, I couldn't find the information I needed for the health insurance. Sometime during this tumultuous period, Jake and I were asked to give talks in sacrament meeting. The topic: The Power of Patience. Oh, the irony. I don't know if Cliff Eley knew what was going on with us when he assigned the topic, but the timing couldn't have been better.
About seven months later, within about a week's time, the house sale closed, the judge signed the divorce decree, and my mom's new insurance card arrived in the mail. I took a breath of relief and immediately turned my thoughts toward figuring out funeral costs, cemetery plots, and hospice care. It was at that time that my sister came for a visit and I had her take our mom to her chemotherapy. I just needed a break. When they returned, my sister explained to me that the doctor had reviewed all of Mom's latest lab work, x-rays, and such and found that he could find no trace of her cancer. Mom was quickly planning how she was going to get off all of her medications and return to a normal life. I think that at the time, I congratulated her and didn't say or think much else.
As I was returning from dropping my sister off at the airport, it struck me that my mom had survived. It took another month or so to realize also that I had gotten everything for which I had asked. I had received the miracle for which I had pleaded several months before, not to mention all the help along the way to accomplish my list of 3.
Maybe this story doesn't convince you, the reader, of the existence of God or Jesus Christ, but for me, it was an affirmation that Heavenly Father not only exists, but listens and loves us. He sent his Son to ensure that we would have a way to return to Him. Jesus Christ came to Earth as an infant, grew up just like you and me, and then paved the way for us to return home someday. This is why I'm celebrating Christmas.