A few days ago, my brother called me while I was at work and asked for my Christmas wish list. I opened my mouth to answer…
…then closed it again when I realized I had no idea what I wanted for Christmas.
Okay fine, I was just a bit too busy with work to really focus on those
seemingly insignificant things. So I asked for time and tried to think of something, and I still came up short. I eventually managed to text him a few items I wanted later that day, but they weren’t things that I really, really want. In fact, some of them were just things I put there for the sake of having a wish list – nice to have, but not necessarily necessary.
It’s not that I didn’t know what I want, or that I didn’t want anything, really. I suppose we can count this as a sign of
aging maturity, as I haven’t made a wish list for my birthday or for Christmas ever since I turned 27. However, as I pondered on it further, I realized why I didn’t have a lot of things on my wish list this year.
It’s because God has granted most of them already.
Well, the ones that I asked for in all my prayers, anyway, which were the ones that I really, really, really wanted.
And no, it’s not One Direction. ;) Early this year, I prayed for direction, because I felt like this year was the time to move, the time to do something new, especially with my career. My personal deadline was mid-2014, but God answered the prayer earlier, which led me to transition, which led me to one of the craziest adventures I’ve had this year.
I will write about it eventually, but let’s just say that this adventure led me to hold on tighter, to choose joy more, and to learn to be grateful. When I asked for direction, God really gave me that, and funny thing is that He kept me in the dark so I would learn to trust that He was leading me in the right path. In answering my prayer for direction, God made my faith stronger…and well, there’s a lot more to learn, but I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I got what I prayed for.
This is connected to the prayer for direction, as I often prayed for doors to open when I asked God to lead me. But the more concrete thing with this is what had happened recently: I thought I lost one opportunity because I chose not to acknowledge it, so I let it go. I didn’t think it would come find me again, which I took as God telling me that that was one door opening for me again.
You know sometimes it still surprises me how swiftly God moves when the much-awaited perfect timing comes. Either that, or I just have these expectations that God’s timing is just slower, when really it’s on time.
But other than that semi-cryptic things I wrote up there (which I will write about eventually), there were many other doors that opened to me this year, in terms of travel, writing, and speaking. I realized a lot of things about myself, and what I really want to do in my life, and it’s both exciting and scary.
But I think that’s what open doors should really make us feel: excited and scared. But more excited because how can we be scared when we’ve got God on our side? :)
One of the things that I really prayed for this year is the grace of forgiveness – forgive others, forgive myself, and be forgiven. I ended 2013 with thoughts on this, and carried it over until 2014. I pondered, struggled, and worked on this in my heart, up until I had finally accepted that maybe there are some things that will really take time and that there are some things that I will probably never get, so I told myself that maybe what I wanted isn’t necessary anymore. Maybe I should just learn to live with what I was given, you know?
But you know what? It’s always when we surrender that God starts to move in ways that will always surprise us. It’s as if He’s just waiting for us to give Him the reins, and the moment we do, He moves like that, and we get the things we want in such an amazing package that we wouldn’t want it in any other way than He had given it to us.
And so forgiveness. Of all the gifts I received this year, this is the one I am most thankful for. So much of last year and early this year had me asking so many questions about what happened, had me feeling angry and sad at myself and at others because of the things I did and what they did and what I lost. I honestly didn’t think that reconciliation would be possible. But God had other things in mind, and He answered my prayer in the most perfect time, and I am just in awe and so grateful that He did.
It is a great grace to really experience forgiveness. How humbling it is to be able to give and receive it face to face. And as my friend said, truly, God works for the good of those who love Him. :)
All I want for Christmas
Looking back, this Christmas is now a lot more special because instead of asking for material things, I find myself just giving thanks over and over again. It feels like a huge bonus – not only did Jesus come down to be human, but He answered my prayers even if I didn’t deserve any of it. I believe He answered them for the same reason why He came down to be a child on this day: because He loves us.
And because of that, what else can I ask for? :)