"What Christmas (the Celebration of Christ's birth) Means to Me!"

by Trygg Heintz

To Mrs. Ginther and Family:

Have you ever felt like a baby bird inside an unbreakable egg trying to hatch? As I grew up I felt there was always somebody or something repressing my desire to live out my ideals and to just let me be myself. I struggled and rebelled for independence and eventually obtained it, but with his self-sufficient way of life, came a sense of insecurity and loneliness, so I began to search for true meaning and purpose to life.

Through my experiences I learned that life was meaningless without love, so I tried to be more loving and kind toward others. However, I soon realized I was trying to give people something I didn't have. I was empty inside and all the enjoyment and security this world offered couldn't fill my emptiness. Drawn by curiosity to a gathering of Christians, I marvelled at the genuine love they had for people; like it was real and not a result of their straining to show it. They seemed free and full of joy. My heart cried out convincing me that this is what I'd been searching for.

I learned there for the first time that God loved me and had an exciting plan for my life which I could experience by receiving His Son into my life and accepting His forgiveness for my sin. I could hardly wait to find a private place and when I did I talked to God something like this: "Lord Jesus, I give up. I surrender my life to You and ask you to give me new life and purpose. I accept your love and forgiveness and I now thank You for coming into my life. Amen." There were no immediate thrills or changes--in fact, there were some doubts as to whether or not I'd done the right thing, but I ignored them.

Soon afterwards I realized a joy and enthusiasm for living I'd never had before. I felt real compassion for those I'd despised and feared before as well as for those around me whom I could see were living meaningless lives as I had been, and I decided to spend my life helping them to find the answers they search for.

I am aware that I don't always allow God to express His love through me and I am humbled often as I realize how I fall short of God's perfection, but I am a child of God and I am maturing.

As I allow Him to control my life more, I find that I can show love to my parents and my fellow classmates even if they don't show love to me. I have seen an increase in self-discipline and interest in my studies and I'm no longer wandering aimlessly not knowing what to do with my life.

My life has become a moment by moment adventure and although there are difficulties to cvercome along the way, I find Jesus to be sufficient for every one.

I used to fear that I would regret having invested my life in the wrong way, but now I have confidence and hope towards the future, both in this life and forever.

The Gospel of Mark, which is the second book in the New Testament in the Bible, contains a verse I would like to share with you because it is really meaningful to me in that it describes something I've begun to experience. "If you insist on saving your life, you will lose it. Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live."--Mark 8: 35, Living Bible

Mrs. Ginther, I know that you have identified yourself with this unique person who has changed the lives of millions besides me throughout history and it is my prayer that this Christmas season will be the most meaningful one ever for you as you get to know better the One whose birthday you are celebrating...How are all the family?--from Trygg

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