Well another Christmas has passed and we're into a New Year. I love this time of year, because people are so much nicer. You see a more gentle side of people at this time of year. They are more compassionate and giving. The caring nature in each of us come out.

Well another Christmas has passed and we’re into a New Year. I love this time of year, because people are so much nicer. You see a more gentle side of people at this time of year. They are more compassionate and giving. The caring nature in each of us come out.
I guess that is a reason that this time of year also makes me sad. I wish the people behaved everyday like it’s Christmas.
The smiles on everyone’s face are enough to brighten my day. I love being out shopping and have everyone look at me and say hello, Merry Christmas. I believe the one behind the holiday reaches out and touches us more than ever this time of the year. That or we just finally slow down enough to feel him around us more.
Well this Christmas even all of that was hard for me to appreciate for a while. As some of you may know, I am sick. Several months back my biopsies didn’t turn out in my favor. Cancer is not a word any one of us ever wants to hear. I still held firmly in my belief that everything is going to be okay. My faith is not in man.
So onward I went with the year and Christmas came quicker than I expected.
My lil man Jasper became ill awhile back too. He was having a real low temperature at night and sweats that would leave his bed and clothes drenched. He cried of headaches and said his eyes were “fuzzy,” so we took him to the pediatrician.
They could see that his levels were way off. His SED rate was really high. They didn’t know what was going on. They gave him a strong antibiotic and said we would retest in a week.
 Well before that week was up, Jasper, who had made no improvements, had a Christmas program. During this program he became very agitated and would yell at us to stop blowing and touching his head. He would go from lap to lap and still he accused everyone of messing with him. Finally after taking a seat on the floor with his back firmly against something, he would cry out, “who’s back there?” and “who’s doing that?” Well at that point, we were scared.
A few phone calls later, we were all rushing in our car to Morgantown to the emergency room. Once there, Jasper sat up on the bed in his suit and tie from the concert. looking so tiny in that big bed. I knew I was probably overreacting, and that he was fine. Even the first doctor seemed to think he was fine at first.
Then the blood work came in. Then they found the swelling behind his eyes around his optical nerve. Then they found the enlarged organs. Finally they found the swelling in his brain. Something was hurting our little boy and we had no idea what.
Although I was scared, I tried to remain the rock for my family. We were admitted and we waited for all the tests they were doing to come back. CT scans, MRI, and a spinal tap were a few of them. He wasn’t allowed to eat; he had to be sedated. Still no answers.
They told us his blood had been sent to the Mayo Clinic and we were awaiting answers. Lyme disease was a concern.
I can’t tell you how hard that time was; my fears, and worries. Not knowing and being away from our family so close to the holiday. I tried to be a tower of strength, like I always do. Yet inside I was dying.
Well news came and they said that our lil guy had Bartonella henselae and Bartonella quintana. Now if you’re like me, you’re thinking, “What is that?” One is cat scratch fever and the other is known as trench fever, which was seen a  lot during the Vietnam War from soldiers in the trenches. How this hurt our lil man, however, we just couldn’t understand.
Well a crazy amount of treatments started, and his heart was a concern, because apparently it infects the heart and will cause fluid to build up. We were visited by infectious disease doctors, who asked a lot of questions and checked a lot of things. A tick, we were told, was the likely culprit. Can you imagine a little tick causing this many problems? I couldn’t! We live in the woods, he plays and runs and goes to the river. We picked at least four off of him this year. I would have never thought.
I sat there for days and days on end, watching them have to do one IV after another. His little veins couldn’t hold up to the medicines that they needed in him. They told me we would need a pic line straight to his heart to deliver long-term medicines that he would need.
During this time I was unable to work, plus my illness that I am fighting has left me out of sick or vacation days, so this was all unpaid. As many of you know, I am a single mom. I was struggling to buy food to eat while we were there. It’s not easy to eat out. It was almost Christmas and there was no tree, no money for bills, and nothing decorated. There was nothing I was ready for. They were saying we would be there till January.
I took a moment for myself and walked to my cold car, I got inside and I broke down and I cried. I was angry. How could God not fix this and him? Why was this happening to us? What did I do wrong?
Did I mention that two days before we landed in the hospital we had to put down my beloved doberman Blaze from cancer as well?  I had so much on me that I was crumbling under the weight. I couldn’t function, or breathe. I just cried.
I took to Facebook and did a little rant. I had been angry for so many days I couldn’t bring myself to pray because I was mad. After a little while, I calmed down and I said, “Lord here is my heart, I am opening it up to you. In there you will see anger, bitterness, and even self pity. Take it because it’s not doing me a bit of good.” I asked in return that he would fill those spits with strength that I would have to pull from for all the upcoming things we needed to face.
I got out of my car and I went back in to the my lil boy that needed me to be strong.
A lot changed after that. People reached out to us, wanting to help in any way they could. My church sent money for us to eat, and a gas card to help with traveling. Some wonderful friends reached out to help and people I didn’t even know were there offering aid. It was a miracle! At that point I realized that this is what happens when God shows up!!!!
Jasper started responding better and next thing you know, we got a Christmas miracle and were able to come home a few days before Christmas.
We were given a tree that we decorated as a family and more people reached out to pray for us and to see if we were okay.
 I got home and I became a little overwhelmed again. I tried to get back to work and keep some money coming in. Our tree we decorated fell twice; finally I left it leaning on the wall. It was Christmas Eve and I was a bit panicked.
 So what do we do? Well, we head to our church for communion. As I sat there, it was hard to focus on anything; my thoughts were everywhere else. Bills, and stuff I still needed to do. As the lights went out and the candles were lit, that all went away. By candle light I could see my children’s faces as they glowed in the flicker of the flame. I could see Jasper’s little eyes glow as he held the glow stick he was given. I could feel the hand next to me as he held it, and I realized God didn’t not only show up at the hospital, he actually never left. Sometimes we just get so busy and wrapped up in all the extra small stuff, that we fail to realize he is there.I looked at my kids and my grandson and realized how blessed I truly am.
 I stood there in that church smiling like an idiot, in fact, I kind of worried my kids. I was just so happy and content. I was joyful and I had not a care in the world.
God never promised there would be no problems in life, but with him in our lives it would be worth it.
We left that church that night, and I went home and spent time with my family. We were all fed and we were warm, and I was grateful. That leaned-up tree didn’t matter. Not having stuff done didn’t matter. What mattered was we were together and God was there.
 Christmas came and Jasper was delighted. We went to my parents and we played games with all our family and it was the best Christmas ever. God helped me to simplify this holiday and the true importance came out. God showed up and everything changed. I had invited him in and he made the difference.
The day after Christmas, we  had to take Jasper back to the hospital as we had agreed. The Bartonella bunch is getting better, but platelets are rising. Now they think we might have overlooked something. We are looking at autoimmune diseases among other things. But we will face that with God.
I still have my own health struggles to face, surgery and treatment, but I’ll face them with God. I am looking at more time off work, and that’s scary, but doable with God.
This holiday God taught me a lot. While we’re planning the celebration of his birth, sometimes God is giving us a new birth of ourselves.  This year I saw the best in my fellow mankind. More churches than our own reached out to help us. People reached out, and showed me what it looks like when God’s light is inside of us. I have so many wonderful people I would like to thank. I know some would rather me not say their names or deeds, so I’ll just say thank you!!
Thanks to our community who helped support a little boy and his family with your prayers and kind words. I pray you all had a wonderful Christmas; it doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.
I know mine wasn’t perfect, but in it’s own way it was better than perfect. Never will I question what can happen when God shows up.
Just saying….