The Greatest Gift

I got to the point last Friday when I decided that I'd had enough of reapplying my make-up because I knew that I'd just cry it all off again. I was so annoyed with myself for feeling so miserable on one of the best days of the year! I tried all my little christmassy tricks to try and get me in a festive mood but nothing seemed to work. That evening was our christmas eve party and I remember turning to Laura as I was making everyone cups of tea and saying: 'I'm just so tired. When will there be good news? I want to be happy again'. It sounds incredibly morbid and pessimistic (two adjectives which don't resonate well with me!) but I just couldn't seem to keep it together, because NEWS FLASH Ellie Jackson is NOT superwoman!

Anyway the party went on and it soon became apparent that our plans to go to Guilford Cathedral for midnight mass would have to be cancelled on account of exhausted, sick parents. Another disappointment, but a decision I could understand. But I desperately wanted to go to church that evening, no, I think I NEEDED to go to church that evening just to remind myself of the real reason for Christmas. I guess I figured that if the baubles and the snow and Bing Crosby crooning away in Holiday Inn weren't going to butter me up in the Christmas spirit then a couple of carols and a few candles were sure to do the trick. Then Laura and Sophie gave me the best Christmas gift anyone could have given me this year, they offered to drive and accompany me all the way to Guilford to go to midnight mass. So at 10:00 Laura arrived at my house and I jumped into her car armed with a Thermos and off we drove in the allusive Bagshot direction.

We sang along to Hillsong and Jesus Culture all the way there and as the car snaked it's way through the dark, country roads I felt God's presence so intimately. Then in the cathedral with it's evocative architecture and stillness I finally felt that peace which transcends all understanding. Admittedly this was interspersed with hyper, tired giggles for us three ladies when we thought that the entire service might be conducted in Latin, thankfully it was not and I got to sing the descant to three of my favourite carols without receiving any bewildered looks from the congregation. As I went up to take communion whilst being serenaded by a beautiful choir singing Agnus Dei it conveniently occurred to me that there is some good news this Christmas. Yes, I'm aware it's corny and predictable and all you non-christians are probably thinking 'When is she going to write a post that doesn't include Jesus?'. But the thing is I believe that he IS the good news in my life. Sometimes, like now, he is the only good news in my life and the only hope that makes getting out of bed in the morning seem worthwhile. My greatest gift this Christmas is him and the wonderful friends who willingly drove for hours and stayed up till 2am just to let me be reminded of this.

1 comment :

  1. Having God to turn to sounds amazing. I'm so happy that you have him.