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Monday, December 24, 2012
Just a few weeks ago I watched the classic Christmas film "It's A Wonderful Life". I had seen it every year with my family or friends and expressed some appreciation of it, but somehow this year was different. This year I watched it at home, alone. I was surrounded by my pets, the warm glow of the gas stove, and the beauty of our family Christmas tree. In the past, I have had difficulty feeling the unseen blessings that Christmas brings. As I watched this classic tale of hope, I saw myself in the story of George Bailey. My battle with depression so often has overwhelmed me during the holidays that rejoicing in the birth of our Savior seems a foreign concept. Material matters clutter my mind, and thoughts of what I do not have cast a dark shadow over thoughts of that which I do have. But as George Bailey comes to realize that his greatest blessing is the gift that his existence brings to others, I too, realized that the depth of my despair and the greatest trials I have faced pale in comparison to the blessings that God has given me. I was born into the most loving and supportive of families. I love, and am loved by, dozens of dozens of friends and neighbors. I have a roof over my head, fresh food, clean water, and thousands of amenities which make life safe and comfortable. I have been afforded the opportunity to expand my knowledge of the world through education. I am healthy, strong, and safe despite all that is bad in the world. And I have found Truth in the life of Jesus Christ, whose deeds teach us that peace, love, mercy, and goodwill are the best gifts we can give or receive.