When Sam and I were going through our separation, and Ashley was about 10, she decided to test me. It was Christmas time, I was broke, I was going through a tough time, and that little 10-year-old girl picked that year to see if Santa was real. When I asked her for her letter to Santa I recall a smug look on her face when she looked at me and said: “I already mailed it”. Not only that but she gave me no clues as to what she asked him for. This was her test. To see how true this made up jolly guy was. Would he bring her what she wanted or not? Well, that year he brought her more.
Since I had no idea what she wanted, I chose instead to get the girls a dog. He came to us on Christmas Eve and the kids woke up to a new dog that Christmas morning. I still remember the sounds of barks and growls coming from downstairs which freaked my poor kids out. The look they had as they approached the stairs is something I’ll never forget. But when we turned the corner and saw him sitting in his kennel along with a note, the kids were beside themselves! Ashley took the letter sitting on the kennel and read it to us. The letter from Santa explained to the girls that instead of getting the presents they asked for that year, he gave them a new puppy that needed their love instead. At the end of the note, Santa added a PS that said, “P.S. Ashley – never stop believing”. Ash was so cute as she yelled: “I do believe in Santa, I do believe!”.
That same Christmas I received a gift that could only have been from the North Pole as well. It was something not many people knew I wanted but a few days before Christmas, I found it sitting in my car at work. It was wrapped in white paper with a beautiful bow, with a note that read “Rita – never stop believing”. I broke down. That gift meant more to me than anyone could ever know. I believe to this day that God, with a little help from Santa, had a hand in getting that gift to find its way to me. Along with our beloved Rascal!
The reason for this post is because it’s the season of Thanks and of Giving. I know a lot of people right now who are struggling to find the “bright side” of things, but if you take a look around, you’ll find it’s there. It’s in friends you know, the air you breathe, and those that keep you believing. Ashley and I learned a big lesson that year that I hope helps you in your season. It’s not about the circumstances you may find yourself in today, but in the faith, hope, and miracle you find in tomorrow. We also look back now and remember that our hardest Christmas turned out to be our best ever!
Wherever you find yourself in life – Never stop believing!