Christmas 2023 Pesky Derailments by Robin Densmore Fuson


Have your plans ever derailed? Your events kicked to the curb?

Two years ago, our Christmas got interrupted by surgery for cancer removal. We had to stay away from germs and take time to heal both physically and emotionally. We thank the Lord that my husband is two years cancer-free. Not everyone gets those results and we don’t take it lightly.

A couple of months ago, I received news that one of our granddaughters got engaged and scheduled a Christmas wedding. They choose the 23rd on the anniversary of her other grandparents and great-grandparents. Excitement and planning filled the airwaves between my daughter and myself.


Who doesn’t like to go dress shopping? They went shopping for the “perfect” dress and bridesmaids and of course the Mother-of-the-Bride dress. It’s joyful to scroll through pictures sent to me of the girls’ dresses and I boldly went on the hunt for mine. Festive attire filled the stores and I found something special for a Christmas wedding and got new shoes too.

After receiving the cute invitation, I pulled up her wish list registry, loving her choices, I had a hard time choosing the perfect one on the list. Why not grab the pretty comforter set? Yes. Perfect. Delivered to our address so I can wrap it and bring it to the event.

We make reservations at a hotel near the venue for the 22nd. The wedding is the next day at eleven o’clock. We will leave after the reception to drive six hours to another daughter’s home for Christmas. All scheduled and planned out, we wait for the days to flip through the calendar.

Has life ever thrown a wrench into your plans?

On the 15th, my throat started to feel scratchy. Over the weekend, I got progressively worse and stayed home bundled on the couch reading, between coughing fits. On Monday, I took a home Covid test which showed positive and headed to the doctor. He told me I had a five-day quarantine but should be good to go to the wedding if I didn’t get worse or my husband didn’t come down with it.

Yay! I felt awful but hopeful. Thirty-six hours before departure for the celebrations, I struggled all night with coughing, and runny eyes, and woke with gunk sealing my eyes shut. Climbing from bed and staggering into the bathroom, I rinsed my eyes and started to brush my teeth, glancing into the mirror.

A zombie. Blood-red puffy eyes stared back at me.

No way! It can’t be.

I finished brushing my teeth and again splashed my face and eyes with warm water, careful to dry on a paper towel, to not spread germs. I’ve seen this before when I worked for an eye doctor.

Conjunctivitis or pink eye—a highly contagious virus.

I made an emergency appointment for that morning and my fear was realized.

The planning—the purchasing of clothes—the expectations of seeing family and meeting new ones—watching my granddaughter and groom say their wedding vows—all dashed. Someone had burst my balloon and no confetti came out, just stale air.

Alone for Christmas.

A few tears are good for soothing scratchy eyes. But more terrible germs escape. I needed to hold it all in. I went to the Lord. I didn’t rage at Him or ask why. I poured out my heart. His peace filled me as I rested in His sovereignty. He knows what is best. He knows my goings and comings. He sees the future. God could be protecting us from something worse. I’d rather feel painful gritty eyes than have something worse happen on the road. 

Although flooded with disappointment, the first person to tell was my granddaughter. “I wanted to see you in your dress and hear you say your vows. I am so sorry honey.” Tears slipped unbidden down my cheeks.

Next, I needed to tell the rest of the family. Not only would we miss the wedding but also Christmas celebrations with other children and grandchildren.

What to do with the Christmas gifts and wedding gift? Oh. Repackage and husband ship them.

As I disinfected my home and car, I prayed for everything and everyone. Sitting, for a moment, I picked up my phone and saw a post from my cousin’s wife. Her dad had passed away.

Don’t ever ask, could it get worse? My heart fell. My eyes welled up with tears. Someone felt more wretched than we did.  

We can’t do our plans and celebrate with family but we are intact. Others have more lousy things to go through than we did.

The Bible has a whole long book focused on one person, Job. He had everything going for him. A great big family, wealth, and health. In a moment of time, everything got taken away from him—his wealth, servants, herds, and his children, all gone. (Job 1) Then if that wasn’t enough, he developed boils all over his body. They must have itched because he sat and scrapped them with broken pottery. How did he respond?

“Though he slay me yet will I trust in Him” (Job 13:15 kjv). “In all this, Job did not sin by blaming God” (Job 1:22 nlt). At the end of all of Job’s losses and struggles, the Lord stepped into the scene and displayed His majesty and power. Job said to the Lord, “I know you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such arrogance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things too wonderful for me” (Job 42:2-3 nlt).

It’s hard not to be crushed by difficult circumstances. We have to choose to rise above them and trust the Lord that although we don’t understand, His way is best. We need to focus on what is good and right with us. We need to be like Job.

I hope your Christmas plans didn’t get derailed. I hope you are health and able to spend Christmas with family and or friends. If not, I pray you will take time to rest in the Lord. Trust Him and His sovereignty over your life.  





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