Tonight, I must make room for my past.

This may surprise my readers, but I really don’t like acknowledging my past.  I do, with frequency, because it’s part of what makes me me–and because it’s a situation that goes far beyond me that needs to be discussed.  I help nothing by being silent.

But my past scares me.  It scares me to know what I once was and what I still may become again, should I be careless or should a biological factor get triggered.  Some of the scariest parts of my past were the two times I went to a mental hospital.

Tonight, I had no choice but to face it.  My family and I sang at an assisted living facility in which there were several residents looked completely normal.   But in their eyes, I saw myself reflected.  I saw the bad days where I am only two tiny steps away from their situation.  I was heinously uncomfortable.  I was SCARED.

Thankfully, I was able to sing and smile and serve those who have not been as lucky as I.

You would be right to ask: what does this have to do with Christmas?  What does my past–and not running from it–have to do with letting Christ in?

Well, I believe in a Christ who is loving, a Savior who wishes to perfect us, loving brother who reaches out to us, simultaneously teaching us to reach out.  Much of my Savior’s mercy in my life has been at those times when I spiraled out of control–wild manias and dark depressions.  He has taught me to use my past experience to sympathize, and in some cases empathize, with those who do not have the support I do, the financial means to get help that I do, the love I experience.

My past teaches me to be merciful and loving.  It scares me, true, but it also makes me better.  Because my weaknesses have been made stronger through faith and dedicated work, I can help others.  When I run, I deny the glorious blessings that allow me to be a better comfort and solace to others, no matter what their trials may be.

Today I make room for my past, because it is NOT all frightening and bad memories.  It it mercy and love.  It is a promise to all that God can and will work miracles in the lives of His children and that Christ will bear all burdens.

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