Cathy Williams

I love Christmas. I always have. But it took on a whole new meaning after I came to know Christ as my Lord and Savior.

In the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, a prayer was prayed from a child's heart to God's ears. The prayer and desire was for a Cabbage Patch doll. It was 1991 and the child was our daughter. It's all she asked for. Leah was a kind, tender-hearted and unselfish child, and I wanted her to have this baby doll. But as the weeks rushed by, and our very skinny budget wasn't getting any fatter, I realized I was not going to be able to buy that doll.

I told God I was angry and decided to take matters into my own hands, since He wasn't answering. I took the money from our mortgage envelope and snuck out to Meijer to buy the doll. I should've been happy, right? I couldn't be, because my husband trusted me to make sure the  mortgage payment  got there on time, and that wouldn't be possible if I spent the money on the doll. Grudgingly, I snuck back to Meijer and returned the doll, all the while thinking "Now what God?"

Two weeks before Christmas we received a check from our church benevolence fund. I bought Christmas dinner, paid some bills, got our son a gift, and there was about $7 and some cents left. The hunt for the doll was on. Four thrift stores later, and there she was, standing tall on a shelf right behind the cashiers. The only thing was she was in an ugly yellow posable jumpsuit. I thought, no problem. I'll put her in a different  outfit.

There was enough money for the doll and some used preemie baby clothes. Perfect! I put the doll and all of the accessories in the closet until Christmas Eve, at which time I  would wash and dry her hair and body, dress her in the red and green plaid sleeper and tie her hair with the red and green ribbons.

Well, God had something else in mind. Upon removal of the jumpsuit I noticed that the doll had cigarette burns on her. Not funny! Christmas Eve, no money, no doll, now what God? My brother mixed up my craft paints to match the skin color. We painted it on and it matched, until it dried, now she looked burned and bruised. I wanted to laugh and cry all at the same time. But God popped an idea into my head, a handicapped cabbage patch doll. He gave me the name Melody Carol, and the idea to write a letter to our daughter from the doll. It went like this.

Dear Leah,

I am a handicapped cabbage patch doll. I have boo boo's. Your mom knew that you were the perfect person to love and care for me. I love you, Leah.

Melody Carol

Leah loved that little doll more than I can even explain. It was the sweetest thing. Every time I tell that story, I am reminded of God's incredible love and care. He even cares about something important to a child, like a baby doll. What a blessing I would have missed had I insisted on doing it my way.