...And I cried too.
I sent this email the Friday before Christmas and within an hour had received equally emotional replies. It was difficult for me to write this email and even more difficult to send it, but I'm glad I did.
Hello and Merry Christmas from me!
My holiday season isn't normal. I come from a (newly) broken family and am the only one who moved away from our hometown. It can be lonely. I'm 25, but loss knows no age.
My husband comes from a wonderful, but very small, family. (I hate to say it, but the only reason his family is so small is because many of them passed away in a short span of time. Ugh.)
But on the bright side, we are expecting a nephew in May. ;) Babies are so special. Their smiles remind us that joy can be found in anything, if you know where to look. They are unassuming and oh-so-precious.
So, what about this Jesus baby?
I know, I know. It's not politically correct, and some of you might unsubscribe. That's okay. I can't celebrate Christmas without celebrating that fact that my God fit His glorious self into the small, helpless being of a human baby--100% God and 100% human--just so He could come find me.
In case my family history didn't tip you off, I've been a little lost lately.
Divorce does that. Death does that. If God hadn't sought me out, I'd hate to think where I'd be right now after a very rough first 22 years of life. I'd be more lost than ever, and greatly in need of saving.
I get choked up as I write this because I realize yet again that from the moment Jesus was born, His journey to death had begun. That was His whole point in being born--to die.
Why? Because He'd rather die than live without me.
That's love, folks. As a kid, I didn't always know what true love was, the kind that never gave up or didn't depend on circumstance. I bet you carry some hurt too. I bet you have memories that haunt you--even just a bit.
Whether those memories are echoes of your own mistakes or of circumstances that were completely outside your control, I want you to let go of them this Christmas, knowing that you are loved.
Because that's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.
What I Learned from Being so Transparent
In response to this email, my husband and I received invitations to Christmas family gatherings and some of my subscribers even shared the painful details of their own life's journey. It takes courage to share something like that.
People like us aren't looking for pity. We're looking for comradery. While misery loves company, healing craves a companion.
Sending this email and reading the responses made two things very clear:
1) My faith BELONGS in my business. The two are not separate. That doesn't mean I'll preach, but it does mean I won't filter my thoughts. I thought for sure some people would unsubscribe due to the faith-based nature of this email, but NO ONE DID. Even if my subscribers have different beliefs than me, they have a respect for the human struggle. On that level, we are all the same.
2) Transparency equals trust. I know my subscribers on a much deeper level now. All I had to do was be vulnerable. It was scary and a little painful, but so rewarding. I didn't talk about my services, my business, or offer any tips. I was just human.
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