Christmas Stories: Day 15
Every day ’til Christmas, we’re sharing a story from your family at FN. Would you rather get them straight to your inbox? Click here and choose “Christmas Stories: (Daily Emails Dec 2015).”
1993. That was a broken year for me.
January: My father remarried. As I stood there in that bright red bridesmaid dress in their wedding, my 14-year-old self smiling on the outside for the pictures, but writhing in grief and pain on the inside. I missed my mother. I wanted her with me. But she was in heaven.
June: My grandmother died. My father’s mother came to live with us after my mother’s passing in 1989. She was an angel. A light. She embraced me. Talked to me. Taught me to pray. Taught me to read the Bible. Taught me to memorize the Word and eat it. Taught me how to make rice (1 cup of rice + 1.5 cups of water). But her death left a gaping hole where there was already an abyss in my heart. Loss upon loss. Grief upon grief.
But December came and…unto us a child is born.
No, not the baby Jesus you’re thinking of. Although He’s great and all. But, God sent me another child. Achild that would also save me. My stepmother gave birth to her firstborn. And as she lay there in a hospital bed in Alabama, I approached her, trembling. I wasn’t sure I would welcome this baby. And she quietly asked, “Inés, do you want to hold him?” And in my head I thought, “You would let me? I’ve been an awful stepdaughter.” Instead I nodded a shy yes. So they handed me a perfect baby boy, wrapped in swaddling hospital clothes (that white sheet with the blue & pink lines you know?), and when my arms held him, my heart of stone started melting.
His nose was perfect. Holy infant, tender and mild.
His lips rosy pink. Sleeping in heavenly peace.
A new son, son of my father, I shared his blood, too. Love’s pure light.
He may have passed gas, but I think he smiled at me. Radiant beams from thy holy face.
I couldn’t stop holding him. Beholding him. With the dawn of redeeming grace.
Micah became my brother at his birth and his innocence wrecked me.
How did God know a child would get to my heart? Because nothing else had. So there, in my baby brother Micah, was the closest to the incarnate baby Jesus as I have ever been. Ever been because my darkness was so dark, my sadness was so sad, but heaven came near, closest, when I held him. Redemption in a baby.
Inés came with her husband Rob to FN in 2008; she recently joined our staff as the Director of Women’s Ministries. She loves being a boy-mom to little Nash who keeps her on her toes. Salsa dancing is her fave! She loves sharing her Black Bean Soup with anyone who cares. You can find Inés on Twitter, Instagram, or at inesmcbryde.com.