Friday, December 11, 2015

The Christmas Photo Card Debacle

I've gone round and around about sending a photo card out this year. My friends who I've talked to know that this has been a huge struggle for me. I've had photos edited, photos taken for the beloved and yearly traditional photo "Christmas card" but I was unable to make them. I became frustrated with myself over the annual Christmas card debacle. My cards are always sent the day after Thanksgiving. I am one of those people who gets them done and enjoys sending them out year after year.  This year, it isn't quite the same, which has been hard for me to reconcile. 

This year, a photo card would not reflect what has been truly happening in our lives and hearts. It wouldn't describe the pain, the ache, our growth, the deep faith, friendships that extend beyond friends, healing, a definition of family, the new desires of our lives and how the things that were once so important, aren't anymore.

It would be too easy to put a smiling photo on a piece of paper, slap it in the mail and send it on its merry way, but I can't do that. The picture of Drew and I wouldn't do justice to the people who've walked an incredibly difficult road with us. We couldn't fit everyone in a picture who has prayed with us, prayed for us, and walked with us. We couldn't show the pain, heartache and road of suffering they've walked beside us, as we sat through difficult circumstances, life decisions and broken hearts. None of these people want credit for this, but I couldn't imagine a picture or a Christmas photo card without them. They define our family and friends. 

I can't tangibly put into a photo card how someone has deepened their faith. You can't take a picture of this. Spiritual growth doesn't fit into a photo frame. You can't buy it and its cost is invaluable. It's not cheap either. It comes with great patience, mercy, grace and endurance. Spiritual growth is not for the faint of heart, but for those who trust in something bigger than themselves.

Our desires for life have changed. We aren't looking for the typical American dream, but instead are looking to advance a Kingdom bigger than ourselves. The priority is no longer number one.

Finally, I don't think we can take pictures of broken hearts, shattered dreams and the re-birth of our "new normal." You can't market these things on a Christmas card. If you can, I imagine most people would not want to see our card. It would be pretty ugly. It's not something you want people to see. 

Finally, the healing in our hearts and the trust in something better is something  I can't write on a card or make someone feel. We both know he has written on our hearts.


I'm not sorry you won't be receiving the normal Christmas card this year. Instead, you will get a greeting card store bought! Or consider this your Christmas card!

From our hearts to yours,
Merry Christmas!

Love, Drew & Sarah


Two Runners Travel said...

Oh Sarah, This post made me sad for you. I know this year has been a struggle and appreciate your candor. We don't always get what we want, but having supportive family and friends can make the difficult times seem just a wee bit easier. Hugs to you and your hubby.

Sarah said...

Thank you! It's okay, really. Sometimes life takes you on a different path than you anticipated and you just sit back for the journey.