Many years ago, I was singing in a church choir for a Christmas program. We learned a beautiful and haunting melody regarding a young boy who witnessed the birth of Jesus Chris. (Song is linked below.)
The most poignant moment in the song comes when the boy grows into a man and begins to lose his faith. At his lowest point, he sings “I hear someone call…’Do not despair, your star is still there.'”
A few years ago, this lesson was driven home to me in an unforgettable way. It was the Christmas season and instead of feeling joy, I could only feel misery, darkness and tears. The previous year had brought family deaths, divorce and a broken heart and I spent the next 11 months mostly in anger and depression. I was angry at God. I may not have fully acknowledged it, but it was there nevertheless. Just as I felt I was beginning to get a grasp on life again, my hours at work were cut in half and another heartbreaking moment regarding a man I cared about shook me to the core. It was Christmas Eve.
It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I felt true despair. I wondered if God even existed. Everything I had hoped for in life seemed to just crumble at my feet. Angry tears coursed down my face. I sat that Christmas Eve staring at my beautiful tree in the darkness and wished life would end.
The irony was not lost on me. The celebration of life brought by the birth of the Savior was the night I wished no longer to live. I cried myself to sleep. Yet, even in that darkest moment, I felt the tendrils of hope still beckoning at me to not give up.
Christmas morning dawned clear and glorious. Though I still felt the weight of sadness from the previous night, there was no doubt that Christmas was beginning to work it’s magic. I played my part in the Christmas festivities feeling subdued. Yet with the love and laughter of my family, I felt the layers of grief begin to lift one by one.
By the time I returned home that night, I felt humbled. I began to see how my own mistakes had interfered with my happiness. I had spent a year being angry with God when I should have been learning what lessons my Father and the Savior were trying to teach me. This time I bowed my head in humble prayer and asked for forgiveness.
It was then that beautiful line passed through my mind “Do not despair, your star is still there.” Cleansing, healing and humbling tears poured down my face. It was a turning point in my life. I may not have understood His plan, but He did…and He loved me. Therefore, whatever He was planning was for the best, even if it didn’t feel like it at times. It didn’t mean that everything in my life suddenly changed, but I stopped being angry and allowed His love, healing, and light to mend my wounded soul.
The depth of meaning that Christmas now brings is a constant source of happiness to me. I sparkle, glitter and radiate from the inside out. I’m in love with life! I sing from the pure joy of understanding how blessed and how loved I am. How loved we ALL are!
This powerful message is a reminder of why we celebrate Christmas. The star, to me, is just another symbol of the Savior who loves us in ways we cannot comprehend with our earthly minds. But it is also a reminder that He is still now and ALWAYS will be there.
My friends, no matter how dark life gets, no matter how forgotten you might believe you are, no matter how much despair you might feel, please remember…your star is still there.
Merry Christmas to one and all and may this New Year bring you the best year of your life (so far)!