Well there's been lots of love going around this last week. First there was Jase and Caroline's wedding...the party at penny black ROCKED. Ooh and I did get to wear that pretty lace blouse :) Then there was grad. Lots of love and extra to go around - everybody was gorgeous, but I didn't take enough photos.
But the highlight of it all, and by all I mean all year and possibly more, was Youth in the Spirit Seminar 2005 - Revolutionary Love. It was, and is, amazing. I've never felt such immense peace, overflowing joy and such sure-ness that God was, is and always will be there. And so many questions were answered too, so many insecurities and painful memories allayed. And you know what, unlike most camps, the feeling has stayed. It's been...9 days? And I still wake up with a smile on my face and an incomparable joy in my heart. The high has gone of course, but the substance has stayed. I don't know if I've changed, but there's just so much security, so much feeling of being loved, just for who I am, regardless of what I say or do. It's like - nothing anybody says can bring me down. Even if it does, I remember the love, and...I'm up again. And then there's the community I've found. The community of God-loving people, people I respect and want to emulate, people who make me laugh and aren't afraid to show they care. People who genuinely want to know more about God, who genuinely live out their faith. Who make mistakes, and tell us about them so that we don't make the same. It's like a whole new family. And I stand amazed.
And you know that song, "Santa can you hear me? I have been so good this year. All I want is one thing. Tell me my true love is here. All I want, just for me, underneath my Christmas tree. I'll be waiting here - Santa that's my only wish this year." Well, I was in the car yesterday, and I heard it on the radio. And it suddenly struck me. My true love is here. He's been here since the day I was born. Since before, when I was formed in my mother's womb. He's here, and not just under the Christmas tree, but everywhere I go. Right next to me, as I blog. Sitting beside me on the train. Laughing with me as I play. And He came, in the flesh, 2000 years ago, in a little stable in Bethlehem, born to a simple virgin. And when He left to return to His Father in Heaven, He sent His Paraclete, the Holy Spirit...God too...the mystery of the Trinity. And He doesn't care how good we've been this year, or last year, or even next year. There's nothing we can do to deserve Him. He's made the ultimate sacrifice, dying on the cross for our sins. All He wants is for us to realise that He's here, to love Him to the best of our faulty human abilities, to live according to His Way. And that realization...was probably the best Christmas gift I could ever have.
So here's to all. Merry Christmas, and keep love in your hearts. Meet next year's challenges with the knowledge that you are, and always will be loved, no matter what. I'm gonna be too busy to blog for a while, and so here are my Christmas wishes for you, whichever religion (or non-religion) you belong to: May God bless and keep you. May God's face shine on you. May God be kind to you and give you peace. Amen.