One thing I always appreciate seeing around the holidays is reminders to remember those who are not happy—lonely people, sad people, people who are struggling. My parents set a lovely example of opening their home to others, and we’ve adopted that practice as well. I remember the first Christmas after they died. Everybody was meeting up in Texas where my little brother and sister had moved to live with our aunt and uncle. Everybody except me; I had to have surgery for a common genetic condition that usually presents itself at birth. I had always been so healthy no doctor had ever caught it…until my heart and body were completely worn out. One of my sisters came out to be with me.
That Christmas morning, we each opened our gift and then binged-watched “X Files” on vhs tapes we rented from Blockbuster. Yes, Blockbuster. We felt very sorry for ourselves until we heard how tough our family’s day was. Then we were glad that we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted to grieve and didn’t have to witness our loved ones trying to comfort each other that Christmas.
But I digress. My point is that I understand lonely, sad Christmases. This Christmas my above-mentioned uncle will be celebrating his first Christmas without his wife, our beloved aunt who died this past spring. He and my cousin are on my heart. A single friend recently mentioned to me how lonely the holidays have been. I think of her fighting for joy. Ill people wonder if this will be their last Christmas on earth. Empty-nesters long for days of a full house. Children of divorce nurse hearts hopeful for restoration.
Finding yourself without loved ones on Christmas morning is enough to bring you to your knees in desperation.
Personally I can’t believe how happy I am this year. I didn’t believe it was possible to be happier than I was last year! This is a precious season in my life, and I thank Jesus multiple times a day for his benevolence. Yet there is something nagging at my heart. It bothers my brain throughout my days this Advent. It’s being without a loved one, a son.
I mentioned my friend Shellie’s journey to bring her baby home on a prior blog post. Well, she and her husband have been in DRC for five weeks now. Five weeks. Five weeks of cuddling, snuggling, kissing their baby boy. Finally! But five weeks of uncertainty in not knowing when they can come home, five weeks of dealing with a government that seems to take pleasure in denying parents their right to take their children home.
And they have been forced to make the impossible decision to leave their sweet boy in DRC and come home tomorrow.
The uncertainty is too great. Their children here need them. Funds are not bottomless. We have all written letters pleading with our own government officials to step in, but at the end of the day, no American can make the decision to allow Shellie to step on a plane with her baby. They purchased the tickets a couple of weeks ago with the hope they would leave with Jecoah in their arms, but it looks like they’ll have to leave him temporarily.
Can you imagine having to leave your baby when you don’t even know when you’ll see him again? A dire situation indeed. I truly cannot imagine the heartbreak and heartache Shellie is experiencing. They have done everything they can, but they are not in charge and can’t control the situation.
And yet, their hope is in One who is in charge and who can change the circumstances and perform a miracle. We have 12 hours before Shellie and Brad step on that plane—please join me in prayer that God will grant them this mercy of allowing them to bring their baby home now and not later, sparing them from having to say goodbye to their son.
Lord, in your goodness and grace for your children, please have mercy on Shellie and Brad and provide a change in the DRC government, allowing Jecoah to come home. Please intervene and prevent Shellie from having to hand her beloved baby back to caretakers. God, you who designed the family unit and created Jecoah as a member of the Costain family are the only one who can make this happen. We beg you in the name of your own son, Jesus Christ.