Tacked to the fence in my garden is a Christmas tree of white lights. It has been on most of the Christmas season. I can see it from my dining room window. The lights remind me of the change in season. It is Christmas.
Mmmm. Do I need a reminder? Yes. There is a desperate howl of grief longing to be released through the gaping hole in my heart. Most of the time I am adept at keeping the deep slicing pain of my loss at bay. At Christmas, the memories of years past, of my little boy’s smile on Christmas morning, of making holiday candy, of the presents given and received, seem to open the hole a little wider. A LOT wider. The most wonderful time of the year becomes a battle of emotions warring within me that is exhausting.
And so. I do what I can to fill the hole with goodness and light. With peace and joy. With new memories. I crank the Christmas music. I decorate. I ooh and aah over the lights. I do all of this in a vain effort to shrink the hole in my heart, to reign in the grief monster, to focus on the people around me who love me. Some days it works. Some days, most days, the tears come. I feel like a fraud, an alien, celebrating a season I do not feel.
And yet. There IS a hope and a peace. When nothing else can fill that hole of loss and grief, JESUS comes. Jesus, who was sent to save us sinners brings hope and solace to my heart. I grieve. I cry. I cling to the promise that because I believe Jesus is my savior, I will see my son again. I will keep pressing on. Yes, there is hope. Thankful for the people who surround me with love. Thankful for the grace and mercy that God has shown me. Thankful for the season of joy. Thankful for Jesus.