For the next few weeks on my blog, I’d like to share Christmas miracles that I have seen through the years.
My first miracle story takes place in early December 2007. I was in my senior year of high school and was getting ready to go to my fourth period class when I got a text from my mom. My dad had been in a work accident and was being rushed to the ER. I could not focus in my next class and was anxious.
Later that night, I was home alone with my sister. My dad was being treated at Nellis Air Force Base which had the closest ER to his workplace in Las Vegas. We learned he was in stable condition but still I was worried. My dad had tried to catch an expensive piece of falling equipment at work and in the process had lost part of his middle finger.
My mom was in the ER waiting with him to make sure all was well. He called to check in on my sister and I. At first, my dad didn’t say much. My sister was teasing him about what had happened and I was curious to see how my Dad would respond.
Suddenly, my Dad said, “Sierra, you’d better stop or you’re going to find a little surprise under your pillow tonight!” I remember howling with laughter and couldn’t stop for awhile.
I had trouble sleeping that night. To help soothe my worries, I lit up the Christmas lights all around my room and turned on the radio to listen to Christmas tunes. I clearly remember when the song “Where are you Christmas?” started playing. Before long, I found myself in tears. I knelt on the floor next to my bed and prayed. Immediately a feeling of peace flooded over me that everything would be fine and my dad would return home okay.
I heard the garage door open beneath me and I rushed downstairs. It was around 1:00 in the morning. My dad walked in with his heavily bandaged hand. He stopped and looked at me quietly. He gave me a hug and said, “It’s okay son. I’m okay.”
As the weeks progressed, I was stunned to watch my dad’s optimism. My dad was the bishop of our local congregation. A “Bishop” in LDS terms basically means an unpaid, voluntary leader who looks after a congregation of about 400 people. Being a “Bishop” is not easy, as it requires many meetings, time away from family, and many long chats with members who are struggling. I was walking with my dad in the hallway during a youth activity at the church shortly after the accident and a congregation member made a sarcastic remark to him. My dad joked by acting appalled and pretended to flip that individual off. He then looked at his hand shocked and pretended to be embarrassed. The member and I got a kick out of it.
For awhile, my dad was not able to drive on his own. I saw true love as I watched my mom drive him to his numerous church meetings, appointments, and work. It was true love that made her stay by his bedside shortly after the accident.
This may not seem like much of a miracle to you, but watching this take place taught me two important facts of life:
1. It’s possible to smile in any hardship.
2. True love never dies.
That Christmas could’ve been a miserable one, but with the right attitude it turned out to be one I will never forget. This small Christmas miracle helped shape me into the person I am today. Never forget that people are silently watching you and how you react to challenges. I try to remember that on a day to day basis. How do you react to a challenge that shows up during the holiday season?