"... To be jolly. Falalalala la la la la." And so it is and was. Christmas has already come and went. And I am a little late to the posting on this but we survived Christmas- more specifically our first Christmas away. We stayed in Haiti this year and really enjoyed the Christmas prep and the idea of having the kids over to our house to watch Christmas movies, play some minute to win it Christmas games, eat yummy food and of course open presents!
This right here- this was an extremely long paragraph about what changed our plans with the kids. It was full of pain, anger, and resentment. I feel relief in having deleted it. Details that will stick in my mind and I can work through in my heart. What you must know is we ended up going to the kids ourselves on the 26th. We had Christmas with them in the dark (no power or inverter or generator for some reason or another- it is Haiti). Their chaos in unwrapping gifts one by one, their excitement and joy was so fun. Also, because of circumstances came with a deep, gripping heaviness in my heart. Again the details are long but you can cover us and the kids in prayer.
As far as Christmas Day goes, it was quiet. It was just Alex and me. We ate yummy food all day and watched White Christmas. I even had hot chocolate at night. We were a little sad (ok a lot sad) to be kidless for Christmas again. We were a little sad to not be with our families and enjoying the traditions we have grown up with for twenty-seven years. Expectations can be a bad thing sometimes- sometimes we need to learn to let go. We were blessed with a last minute invite to Christmas Eve with some friends and it was a great time. Friends really are a great medicine to the soul.
However, I cannot say this will be the last Christmas away. And we did go ahead and make some traditions of our own. There is beauty in the hardship. In the midst of loneliness God has encountered me as a friend who doesn't give up. He has embraced me through my tears and heartbreak, He has stayed up with me through several sleepless nights. He proves He listens to the cries of my heart, He proves to me that my reality is not hopeless and I am desperate for Him. I am not desperate solely for what He does but for who He is. I am so blessed to be called Daughter by a God who does not give up on me when I am weak- but that He sees my weakness and uses it.
I am a ball of many emotions right now- but I am processing and working through them. We love you guys and your ability to read these posts while praying. Thank you for your support and prayers. Keep reading, keep praying, keep encouraging- Lord knows we need it. Keep Abiding in Love- for us, for them, and for yourself.
Kristen & Alex Bradshaw