Journey to Bethlehem: December 19 - Word&Way

Journey to Bethlehem: December 19

Defeating the Guilt-Burdened Journey

Today's Scripture: Isaiah 40:3-5

Dec. 30, 2004, was a wintry Thursday that changed my life forever. Five days after Christmas, usually everyone is still in the holiday spirit. But almost eight years ago, a tragic event took place. A series of obstacles came my way, and this mind-boggling event would be the whole purpose of my testimony.

Emmaly Bottcher is a junior at Ruskin High School and a member of Grace Point Baptist Church in Kansas City, Mo.

I was eight years old, almost nine, when I was at my grandma and grandpa’s house in my hometown, Great Bend, Kan. That day, I witnessed my grandma die of a heart attack. I watched this appalling tragedy with my own two eyes. My grandma’s death was very unexpected, and no one could even think of a tragedy possibly happening at this joyful time of year.

Years after my grandma’s death, I fought the guilt I carried from not saving her life. Every day was hard to overcome because all I did was think about her and imagined what life could have been like with her still alive. I was resentful towards God and blamed him for my grandma’s death, until I started listening to a Christian radio station. I thought I was listening to rock music, but it actually was K-Love.

K-Love opened my eyes to God and made me realize he was there for me, even getting through a crucial time of my life. After listening to K-Love for some time, I became a Christian at 13.

I still often think about the day my grandma died and look back at all I have conquered. Life was and still is extremely difficult, but it’s easier knowing that God is always there for me. I now call my grandma in heaven my angel.

This Christmas, remember why Jesus was born because if he can save me, he can save you!