I waited for the CD that would contain what I was hoping would be a glimpse of the magical, miraculous Christmas we had. It's not like me to put my HOPEISM in things of this world, but I have to admit, as I stalked the photographer's page, I was really hoping the pictures would turn out good. After all, the third time is a charm, right? I rescheduled that photo shoot three times before it finally happened on the third try.
In our "Life with Autism" it takes much effort to do the smallest of tasks. So I guess that's why these photo sessions are so important to me, we just have too few of them. But the ones we have managed to do, seem to take on a theme centered around an event or season in our lives...
The one before Matt would leave to Boot Camp...the beginning of Matt's Navy journey, his marriage journey, and our "Camo" journey as proud Navy parents.
And this one that I call "Praising Him in the Storm" ---- the song by Hillsong, titled, "Stand."
You stood before creation
Eternity in your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand
You stood before my failure
And carried the cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon your shoulders
My soul now to stand
So what could I say?
And what could I do?
But offer this heart, Oh God
Completely to you
So I'll walk upon salvation
Your spirit alive in me
This life to declare your promise
My soul now to stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the one who gave it all
My soul Lord to you surrendered
All I am is yours
And I remember that indeed being a season of standing tall with arms high in awe of everything really, just completely surrendered to the one who gave his all for us. Surrendered to knowing there is purpose and praise in all things....
Then this year... in Matt's Navy journey it's hard to plan anything, but we found ourselves blessed by Team Guppy 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, my mom, and my brother and his family all together for Christmas. So I called the photographer and asked her to come to our Log Cabin and capture some of our chaos. It almost didn't happen. It was so cold, and so rainy, and we rescheduled a couple times for weather and other reasons. But on the last attempt, we finally did it. I knew before any picture what the theme for me would be..... Light. It has been such a dark season for some of us, that I just wanted to capture light. I wanted God's love to shine through satan's darkness. That we were all together this particular Christmas was a miracle in itself. It mean restitution for some of us. The birth of "the finger" greatly contributed to restoration. No, not that finger, but I'll leave the rest of that story to pique your curiosity for perhaps a blog to come. Suffice it to say, it was one of the merriest of Christmases I can remember and I am so thankful that my mom was at the heart of it.
I wanted to capture this picture in this way as a reminder that in any darkness, there is still light. In any hopeless situation, there is hope. Through any brokenness, there can once again be wholeness. In this picture represents many different people in our family, many who have gone through such struggle. We have one beginning their Olympic journey, another giving all they have in pursuing their Navy journey. We have someone just about to cross the finish line of their college journey. We have Brandon and our "Life with Autism" journey....... This picture represents so much in challenges and disappointments. Some I have shared about, some very private. But what I wanted this Christmas, this photo session to capture, is the light that is within each of us through Christ that can shine through any darkness. The light that in Team Guppy --- will NEVER QUIT.
The chorus of the song by DC Talk, "In the Light" is what was running through my mind when I asked all of us to hold the lights for this picture.....
I wanna be in the light
As you are in the light
I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens
Oh, Lord be my light and be my salvation
Cause all I want is to be in the light
It was a circus the day we did those pictures. It was chaos. We didn't get to go to that perfect spot I had planned, it was too wet and rainy and cold. We didn't get the absolute perfect pictures that I imagined, though we came darn close. But we captured the most important thing of all......light. The light of love, of laughter, and of our lunacy. Ok, my lunacy in making everyone wear Santa hats under protest.
|What you can't see is the vice grip Todd has on Brandon's hands.|
|The moment Todd let go of Brandon's hands......|
The light that is family, faith, and fellowship. Because in the end, it's not about any one of us, who we are, how perfect we are, whether we've achieved our goals or not. It's about the light that shines within us, and how we use our life, our light, to shine through our darkest of nights or in being a light to others through their darkest of days.
I love how Jenifer captured this picture. The light of the candles is what you see. We are all there around that table, but all you see is the light from the candles. We are merely shading in the background of God's canvass. You don't see us, just the light. And I guess if I were to have a HOPEISM for this New Year -- it would be just that...
That you don't see me, you see light. His light. His perfection. His HOPEISM.
And at Christmas, especially for me for this Christmas,......oh what a gift that is. To see light where there is none. It's the legacy I want to leave behind for my son.
There is a candle in every soul