Advent: The Gift

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By Ms. Cori Fouts – Youth Director

It’s that time of year again; time to get gifts and time to give gifts. I love gifts! I have fun thinking about people, and surprising them with a little special something, or an object that is meaningful to them. When I give a gift, I want it to be thoughtful or useful to that person. I love to give gifts that represent a special moment in time, a quirk that is unique to the recipient, or something that I know will brighten a person’s day.

I love getting gifts like this too! I think most people do. People in my life are good gift givers. Whether it’s socks that read “You got this!” because I was going through a rough time, or chocolate and a hug because a friend instinctively knew I needed it-gifts can mean a lot. I have a friend that gets me gifts every time he leaves the country, a friend who randomly shows up with something to make me laugh, and a plethora of friends and family who keep my obsession with art supplies well stocked. For me, the best gifts are ones that carry value because of their meaning and the thought put behind them.

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The best gift I’ve ever received was given to me by my sister Emily, last year. Emily is a person who gives generously, no matter what she has. When we were little, she would wrap the pennies from her piggy bank in toilet paper, just to make sure we had a gift specifically from her. Emily is so gracious and loving. She is one of those people who would take the shoes off her feet and give them to someone in need. When we sat down to exchange gifts last year, I knew something good was coming.

Emily decided to do a “sister gift.” Our gift was a matching ring: one for me, Megan, and herself. This ring may not seem like much to an outsider. It’s a silver ring with branches and a crescent moon on the outside. What’s engraved on the inside is what is important. The inside says “Godspeed” with the words “journey, blessing, grace” etched in too. The word “Godspeed” is used to bless someone embarking on a journey. It is wished upon someone as you desire them to go with God’s protection along their path.

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You see, Megan, Emily, and I would always wish each other “Godspeed” as we were leaving the house or each other’s company. We used it lightly because it sounded funny, but we always understood it came with the wish of safety upon each other. These rings are a perfect symbol of our love and sisterly bond.

Last Christmas, we didn’t know how much longer we had with Megan. We thought for sure God could cure her, as He did once before. We thought we’d have a few more Christmas mornings to come. We prayed we’d be laughing and wishing each other “Godspeed” until we were old and grey. Deep down though, we understood the importance of every “hello, goodbye, I love you, and Godspeed-be safe.”

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We won’t have Megan with us this year. Christmas will be different. It will be hard, and we will probably feel a little broken. However, I know that no matter the pain or brokenness-the sister bond between us three will never be broken. Emily and I will always wish each other safety, love, and God’s protection wherever we may be going. We will rejoice and mourn together. Life, as sisters, will be sweet as we celebrate a God-given lifelong bond.

I know on days when I miss my sisters (almost every day) that I can put on my ring and feel close to Megan and Emily. It reminds me that Emily and I have each other’s backs and that when we look at our rings, we’re praying God’s blessing over each other, and thanking God for the blessing He gave us in Megan.

My favorite gift is a constant reminder of the blessings God gave me in my sisters.

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