Unwanted Gifts

14 Dec

flexible_flyers_in_snowI’m sure you can remember some of your favorite Christmas presents ever. One year our parents bought my sister, brother, and me those old-fashioned sleds with the metal runners on the bottom. A few days before, the skies had dropped frozen rain on top a foot of snow, so that the little hill in front of our house was as solid as the pond across the street. The sleds flew like rockets down that icy incline. It was one of the most fun and memorable Christmases of my childhood.

Other Christmas gifts haven’t seemed so wonderful.

Last year, my 18-year-old son wasn’t home for Christmas. Instead, Nick was in a rehab facility six hundred miles away. While his being there was a gift straight from God, it sure felt terrible at the time.

Some gifts are like that. They come wrapped in hardship and layered in pain, and they carry the scents of disappointment and shame. But when you get through all the coverings, the treasures beneath are priceless.

This Christmas, Nick is home, healthy, and sober. He’s already had a number of opportunities to share his testimony of God’s grace in his life, and he’ll have plenty more as he heads off to Youth with a Mission next month. We will miss him terribly during the months he’s gone on his mission trip, but even that will be a gift, knowing that God is using him to bring light to dark places.

Some gifts don’t look like gifts right away. And sometimes, those are the best gifts of all.


DSC_8915-25edRobin Patchen is an award winning multi-published author, but only because she can’t pursue her other dream.

If time and money were no object, Robin would spend her life traveling. Her goal is to visit every place in the entire world–twice. She longs to meet everybody and see everything and spread the good news of Christ. Alas, time is short and money is scarce, and her husband and three teenagers don’t want to traipse all around the world with her, so Robin does the next best thing: she writes. In the tales she creates, she can illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.


Tags: , , ,

3 responses to “Unwanted Gifts

  1. Jennifer

    December 14, 2016 at 6:39 am

    Walking through the valleys of life are heart-wrenching. It’s such a blessing to know God is right there when I look up long enough to see the snow capped mountains looking down at me. I love the story of Robin’s childhood Christmas.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Normandie Fischer (@WritingOnBoard)

    December 14, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    Excellent reminder, Robin. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Terri Weldon

    December 15, 2016 at 12:08 am

    Such a blessing how God can make something wonderful out of a hard time



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: