Sounding joy: Joy in new beginnings
During the holidays, I always find myself reflecting on the past year and thinking about the changes that have taken place since the Christmas before. With the celebration of Christ’s birth, I’m reminded of a new beginning, a new year, a fresh start, and the opportunity to reflect.
When I was in high school, my father passed away exactly a week before Christmas after a long battle with cancer. Christmas always feels a bit shadowed by these memories and the hole in our family. It’s taken me quite some time to accept the timing of this event in our lives but finding joy in the holiday season and newness in the coming of Christ reminds us that God’s timing has a purpose.
This year, I’ve had so many moments where I’ve been reminded of the times that I used to pray for what I have now. It’s amazing to see the ways that God has listened, challenged me, and helped me to understand God’s timing, whether I agreed with it or not.
2021 brought some very joyous changes: an engagement and marriage, a new home, a new job, joining St. Paul, new friends, and a new feeling of peace right where I am. I’ve always been a worrier, but God has shown me through blessings and challenges that worrying doesn’t get me anywhere. Trusting God’s timing and praying about it is what sees me through.
While it might sound like God has answered all my prayers and I have everything I’ve ever wanted, that’s not true, but I’m choosing to trust God and take the opportunity to find joy in new beginnings and the coming of Christ, our savior.
As you hang your ornaments on the tree this year, I hope you find joy in memories, joy in new beginnings, and joy in your heart for the coming of our savior.
Ellen Reeder joined St. Paul with her fiancé, Mike Champion earlier this year. They live in Blue Grass with their lovely dog, Finn, and will be married by Christmas.