It’s Been Ten Years, and I’m Still Here

I finished The Book of Mormon again yesterday—my 10th Unbirthday—and I just have to say, I love it. I love it so much. This book has literally saved my life.

But I want to talk about my new favorite movie, Krampus.

So, there’s a story told in the middle of the movie about how a little girl accidentally summoned Krampus. Everyone around her was awful to her and to each other. “They had forgotten the spirit of Christmas, the sacrifice of giving.” And eventually, it all got to her. And for the first time, “she didn’t wish for a miracle.” She just wanted everything to go away. She’d lost faith, and had given up hope.

And then Krampus swooped in, shrouding everything in cold and darkness as he dragged her family to the underworld. And she said, “he left me as a reminder of *what happens when hope is lost, belief is forgotten, and the Christmas spirit dies*.”

It resonated so much with me, because that’s exactly what it looks and feels like when you give up and stop wishing for miracles, when hope is lost, when belief—faith—is forgotten. And that spirit of charity dies because you’re so empty inside, you don’t feel like you have anything left to give. Something else comes in then, shrouding you in darkness and cold. Twisting everything.

I’ve been there. That’s where I was 10 years ago. I had to gather every remaining grain of faith and hope I had to ask for one last miracle. On December 13, 2010, I got it.

After 10 years, I felt like I should have some deep, profound wisdom to share or something. But I’ve concluded that, the key to getting through cold and darkness isn’t loud or groundbreaking. It’s in the gentle, quiet flame. It comes down to surrounding yourself with GOOD, supportive people. And in doing what it says in Moroni 10:30, and “lay hold upon every good gift.” There are good gifts all around us. I love that quote by Andy Bernard from The Office, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you actually left them.” The way is to look for and treasure the good gifts that we have right now at our feet and bask in the light that they give us, and let them melt away the frost of despair.

It comes down to those 3 things that get lost in Krampus: hope, faith and charity. They are the stars in the dark sky and the antedate for despair. The spirit of Christ encompasses hope, faith and perfect love, and is what fills the air at Christmastime. It’s hope and faith in the promise that winter will end, the snow will melt and things will become new, and the earth will feel warm again. It’s sacrifice and service to our loved ones and neighbors, to brighten their days during their snowy season. It’s in the knowledge that we are perfectly loved by the God whose birth we celebrate in the coldest, darkest months of the year. And how needed is that warmth and light during such days!

The spirit of Christmas, which is comprised of hope, faith and charity, is what led Jack Skellington to sing, “The monsters are all missing and the nightmares can’t be found.”

Don’t let yourself lose hope! Hope is the first step out of despair. Sometimes darkness will whisper, “all hope is lost!” And I testify that, that is a LIE! There is always—ALWAYS—hope!

Hold on to faith, to that spirit of Christ, to *hope*. Cling to that light and don’t let go, and *never* stop wishing for miracles.

I look back on these 10 years, and I think about the beautiful miracles that *have* happened—seeing my boys grow and strengthen in awesomeness as they’ve overcome SO much, Paul and me growing together and becoming the best of friends, our new dream home, the birth of my freaking awesome and hilarious baby boy, and the writing and publishing of a book—the fulfillment of a childhood dream.

Who knows what the next 10 years have in store?

I want you to know it’s worth it. It’s worth it to hang on. You might not be able to see it now, but it’s *so* worth every sacrifice. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. It’s SO worth the fight. And please know you’re not alone.

I want you all to know how much I love and appreciate you. Your support has meant more to me than I’ll ever know how to say. So many of you have swooped in at the perfect moment with love and support, not knowing just how much I needed it right then. You’ve helped carry me through these last 10 years. You matter so much to me, and I love you!

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