Monday, December 8, 2014

Happy Christmas, CaLea.

There are beautiful Christmas lights strung up everywhere, stockings hung, presents under the tree, and thanks to the diligence of my younger brother, there is almost always Christmas music playing. But more importantly, our home is carefully decorated with images depicting the Savior's life and ministry. It's such a wonderful, incredible, warm (maybe not outside, but in our hearts) time of year. And as odd as the circumstances may be, I've been really grateful to share that with my dear family and loved ones. 

Maybe I'm still in America-- for now. But the time is drawing near for me to return to my home away from home. I can't help but to feel this overwhelming sense of gratitude for the love that our Heavenly Father so graciously gives. He immerses us in it entirely. He is not partial in any way-- even though we may not feel as if we deserve His love, compassion, and forgiveness, He not only continues to give them to us, but pours them down from heaven so plentifully that we will never be capable of fully receiving all that He offers us. 

This year, for Christmas, He's giving me one of the greatest gifts I've ever received-- a Christmas miracle: I get to return to my mission in Korea. People keep asking me if I'm sad to be leaving (again) right before Christmas and all I can manage to say in response is, "Oh, I don't even care. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love my family and it's sad that I won't be with them. But technically I wasn't supposed to be home for Christmas anyway. I'm just overjoyed to be going back to Korea." And usually people will just nod their heads and give a little smile and that's that. 

There are no words in the english dictionary (nor the Korean, that I know of) that could ever accurately express the feelings, experiences, and lessons learned that have all been a part of this journey. But sometimes words are overrated. (I can't believe I just said that-- I love words.) Life is too full of too many things. But you know what? All of those things, the little details, the difficult moments, and the tender mercies are all tucked carefully away within my heart. We're made up of all those little details. 

My head is full of thoughts and my heart is full of emotions. And miraculously, the closer it gets, the more full my head and my heart feel! I'm grateful. And terrified. And excited. And overjoyed. And nervous. And so many other things that I should probably just stop listing them now before I start to bury myself in all of that-- 

Most of all, I'm ready. 
I'm beyond ready.

Korea, here I come! 


Sister CaLea Bagley