The First Christmas

Photo by Laura James on

We were married at the beginning of the month of December and so naturally I was looking forward to our first Christmas holiday break. We couldn’t decide what or how we would celebrate but we agreed it would be with each other. In the morning he declared that he wanted to visit his mother. It took me by surprise but as he promised to return by late afternoon I wasn’t perturbed. This would give me an opportunity to visit my family for a while. He got ready and left. I immersed myself in a novel I had started reading some time ago while music played in the background.

I answered my phone as it rang. He was checking in with me, how sweet! I could hear the usual cacophony of music in the background and asked how his mother was and told him to pass on my regards to her. He said that he planned to spend another hour or so then he’d head home. I whizzed into action. It wouldn’t take me much time to get ready, but I wanted to be able to spend a decent enough time with my folks. I ate something light as we had decided that we should eat dinner somewhere then walked the short distance to my families’ home.

As I opened the door, it took all my self control not to salivate everywhere! The aroma of food was intoxicatingly delicious. My father was carving the turkey so I was just in time to gnaw on a turkey bone. They were surprised to see me but when I explained the plan for the day they nodded in acceptance. Around the time when I thought my husband should be collecting me, I gave him a ring but I didn’t get an answer. However, knowing the noisy environment in which he was, I wasn’t taken surprised that he hadn’t heard his phone.

He did eventually return my call. Three times. The first call was to say that he was going to spend an extra hour. The second call was to suggest that I just spend the day with my family. His last call was to insist that I spend the rest of the day with my family. I graciously excused myself from the family table and said that I was going to be picked up. I wanted to call him back but not where my humiliation could be overheard. I called Mr. Impatient back and tried to reason with him. The first 12 months in any marriage is about making memories of lots of ‘firsts’. I wanted to be able to reminisce on our first Christmas in years to come and smile with fondness. I reminded him that he had given his word that we would spend the day together. He wasn’t even sympathetic to my disappointment. I was angry, upset and hurt. I walked down the road and sat by the river to collect my thoughts. He rang but I ignored my phone. I needed to collect my thoughts. Was this how difficult memory making was going to be? The rain decided that this was also the best moment to put in an appearance. Now I was wet, hungry and miffed. I began the steep walk up the incline to what I called home.

This is what happens when you invest time and emotion with someone who is toxic. The things which you take an interest in or are important to you are pretty much shrunken into insignificance, but you dare not have the same attitude with the things that are of relevance to them. It is a very one-sided relationship. I am grateful that we serve a God who is interested in every aspect of our lives. He feels our hopes and shares in our despair. He is in tune with all our emotions, after all He did create them right?

Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught. John 14:27

The Message Bible

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