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The struggles are why I celebrate

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

December 20, 2023

“Is everyone riding the struggle bus right now?”

I posed that question to a close friend recently.

I think this time of year can be challenging for many people. Approaching Christmas, it’s easy to dwell on thoughts of the loved ones who won’t be joining us around the tree this year. It’s stressful trying to complete all the shopping, wrapping, cooking, cleaning… that often accompany celebrations of the holiday, and everything is more expensive than it was in years past.

Those difficulties particular to this time of year are in addition to regular life struggles, and some people have a lot of them. I know many people struggling to obtain or maintain good physical, mental and spiritual health, struggling in relationships, struggling financially…

I know a lot of people who are struggling. I’m not exempt. I have my struggles. I’m fairly certain no one is exempt. We all struggle. It’s part of our humanity.

I sat down recently and took a few minutes to try to figure out what I could drop from my calendar and what burdens I could make lighter by asking for a bit of help from my family, friends and colleagues.

I thought, “how am I even supposed to think about preparing for Christmas spiritually – preparing to celebrate the birth of our Savior – when I have all this to manage?”

It struck me like a ton of bricks. The struggles – the human condition – are exactly why I celebrate.

God – the embodiment of perfection and love – chose to take on this human condition. He chose to take on the struggles – including pain and grief – to save us from our struggles for eternity.

That’s powerful love. That’s love beyond understanding. That’s something to sit with as I prepare to celebrate the moment it happened. That’s an incredible gift from an incredible God.

Speaking of incredible gifts, you, the readers of this newspaper, are gifts in my life. I sincerely appreciate your kind words, your prayers, your constructive feedback and your support of the North Country Catholic this year.

Merry Christmas! I pray we all remember God’s love and find peace and joy in it this Christmas, even through the struggles.

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