And I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virign Mary;
suffered under Pointius Pilate, cruicfied, dead, and was buried;
the third day he arose from the dead; He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic church, the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
This time of year I see more and more articles and debates regarding the ‘true’ meaning of Christmas. Within these articles and debates, I always see the comments where a Christian is being torn apart by a nonbeliever. My heart always sinks. Many times, I'm the Christian being attacked. It's an awful feeling, it really is. I always wonder in these instances why nonbelievers get so defensive and, a lot of times, rude to us believers. Why does my belief anger these folks?
It was only a few short months ago, I got into what I thought would be a friendly debate on a 'friends' Facebook post regarding my faith. It turned ugly, fast. I felt like I had been chewed up and spit out because I was a Christian. I was called ugly names and was harassed to the point that I was literally curled up in a tiny ball and crying my eyes out all night. Not only was I hurt that people I considered 'friends' could speak to me in such a way, but my heart hurt because I couldn't help but wonder what in their life was hurting them so badly that the thought of me being a Christian angered them.
Admittedly, I don't study my Bible regularly. I miss church more than I go. And I sin on a regular basis. However, I believe wholeheartedly in Jesus Christ and I believe He's my Lord and Savior. I've seen his presence and I've witnessed his miracles.
In a six months’ time, I experienced life and death. In August 2008, I gave birth to my own miracle, Avery. For 37 weeks, I carried this angel in my tummy. I felt every movement and I excitedly watched my belly move around daily. From the first ultrasound where my baby was only a spec, to the day I delivered, I knew without a doubt that Jesus existed. No amount of science could explain the love I had for my baby.
As I celebrated the life of my newborn baby, six months later I found myself standing at my Pop's bedside. I'm watching my Pop's chest slowly rise and then slowly fall. My 6 month old baby was one room over cooing and babbling. We all knew it was just a matter of time before Pop left this world. His face grew paler and his breathing got slower and slower. He looked sick and uncomfortable. He gave my Nanny one last squeeze on the hand and took his last breath. At that very moment the most peaceful presence came over my Pop's body. No more pain, no more suffering. I knew that instant that I had just felt the hands of Jesus. I'll never be able to adequately explain the feeling, but I felt Jesus more than any other time in my life that day. He took my Pop straight to the gates of Heaven and he made sure his love sustained us all through our grief. We would need it badly. Three months to the day later, we were in the same house, saying goodbye to my Nanny. As we prayed over her and sung our favorite hymns, Jesus came and took her home. I saw that same peace and I felt His presence. He was there, my friends, He was there.
To me, the presence of the Lord isn't defined by literature, history notes, or 'lack of scientific proof.' I don't need it to feel the love of Jesus. I feel it in my bones, in my heart, and I've seen it with my eyes. The love of Jesus is real. He is the reason for the season. He is the reason we celebrate CHRISTmas, and he is the one I live for every day. No nonbeliever will take that away from me. My faith can’t be shaken. I encourage all of you who believe to not get discouraged or angered by those who try to tear your faith down. Don't give them the power. Instead, pray that they too find the peace you have found in Jesus and continue to share His love with all. Amen!