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Advent Reflection for December 22, 2021

For many people, Christmas is a time of quiet reflection and reminiscing. My family enjoys telling stories of funny moments and fond holiday memories we’ve shared through the years. The story of Western Barbie is a particular favourite that’s often remembered at the dinner table.

When I was a young child, I desperately wanted a Western Barbie for Christmas. It was THE #1 item on my Christmas wish list. Unfortunately, this was an extremely popular toy in 1980 and very difficult to find in stock during the holiday season. My mother recalls searching every day for weeks to finally locate the doll the night before Christmas. She was so excited to see my reaction on Christmas morning when the Barbie was found under our tree. You can imagine her disappointment when I passed right over Western Barbie to explore the other gifts I received! Thinking that I missed seeing this wonderful surprise, my parents pointed out the toy, and I exclaimed, “Oh! Yeah. I knew I was getting that”!

As an adult, I felt badly about my dismissive reaction every time this story was told. My response seemed like that of an ungrateful, spoiled child. I’ve come to understand that it can also be viewed as childlike faith in the magic of Christmas. I didn’t doubt that Western Barbie would be under the tree on Christmas morning because my parents worked hard to ensure every Christmas was special and that I wouldn’t be disappointed.

This story reminds me that our Heavenly Father longs to meet our hopes, dreams, and desires. He is a good father who cares deeply for His children and wants to bless us with good gifts every day. One of the greatest gifts of all that He has given to you and I is Jesus – Emmanuel, God with us. Jesus is with us in the midst of our challenges, breakthroughs, and triumphs. We can be confident in the knowledge that God promises never to forsake us and will work all things to our good.

What if we lived out of this truth? Hebrews 11:1 describes “faith in action” as, “being sure we will get what we hope for. It is being sure of what we cannot see” (NLV) – even Western Barbie under the tree. In moments when circumstances don’t seem to line up with our expectations and doubt threatens to shake our foundational beliefs, we can hold on to conviction that God’s promises are true. I want to return to that childlike faith and live in anticipation of God’s goodness so that when what I’ve hoped for is realized, I can declare, “Yeah. I knew I was getting that! Come and see what God has done”!

May you enjoy a Christmas filled with hope and new year of abundant blessings!

Written by Amy Gayman


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