I sat in the crowded gymnasium eagerly awaiting the start of my daughter’s fourth-grade holiday program. She had a speaking part as well as a piano duet with her music teacher, so she was a bundle of nerves, to say the least. As the curtain opened, I could see her eyes scan the room. She was smiling and looking for me but couldn’t see me. The more she looked, in fact, the more that smile faded. A worried, panicky frown replaced it. Her shoulders drooped. Tears began to well up in her eyes. At that moment, I stood up. I waved my hands embarrassingly high in the air and shouted her name. She finally looked in my direction, and our eyes met. Instantly, her entire demeanor changed. All she needed was to know she wasn’t alone. All she needed was that one person—her person—supporting her. With me, she could fight the nerves and be brave. With me, she could speak and perform well (which she did!).

During these holidays, perhaps you don’t have the supportive community you wish you did. Maybe you’ve lost a dear loved one. Maybe your marriage is struggling. Maybe your children are estranged from you or you simply feel isolated, unappreciated or misunderstood. If that is your reality, remember Jesus is with you. Look for Him. Seek His presence. According to John 1:14, He is more than a story in a book. He is more than words on a page. He is “…the Word [that] became flesh and dwelt among us” (ESV).

He is your Person. He is mine. And He will be all the support we need.

The miracle of Christmas, after all, isn’t in fancy holiday parties, twinkling lights, or perfectly adorned trees. It’s in knowing Immanuel, God with us. It’s knowing that no matter what circumstances we face, we are not alone. And no matter how easy or difficult life is right now, we can still live this day with bravery and hope because Jesus will never leave us or forsake us. He will be with us wherever we go (Joshua 1:5,9).

*Originally published by The Joyful Life Magazine.