JOY! That is the message of the Airblown Inflatable® sitting in my front yard.  JOY! The yard decoration proclaims.  JOY! That is the proclamation to the world during Christmas.

As we gear up, yes, “gear up”, for another Christmas without my son, my heart breaks a little (a lot) more.  Each song, each decoration, each Christmas movie, cuts through the shield I have carefully crafted to keep my sanity.

The song proclaims, “Where are you Christmas?”  I remember that first year, the first time I had to get through the holidays without my boy.  That ONE song shattered me.  All of what I knew about Christmas joy was gone.  My heart was shattered, life was gray, food was tasteless, feelings were numb.  It was an exercise to be borne.

I remember calling one of my “moms” (the precious ladies God brought into my life).  Honestly, I had never met her.  She was a longtime friend of my husbands.  He practically begged me to call her.  I was a wreck.  We talked.  I don’t know how long.  I don’t know what we said.  I DO know that on that day, God was sending me a little bit of heaven to get me through.  This woman, this mom, whom I had never met, shared her heart, promised me that I could get through this season.  One breath, one minute, one day at a time.

JOY? That would come.  When I step away from ME, my loss, my hurt, and focus on others, I can see there is still joy to be found.  I have a beautiful, loving family, and amazing friends.  I have a church family that is truly family.  Being a part of all of life reminds me there IS joy.

God’s grace propels me forward.  God’s grace reminds me of all I have.  God’s grace has led me back to JOY!

This Christmas if you find yourself sinking, reach out! You are NOT alone.  I promise you. One breath, one minute, one day at a time, you can get through it.

May the peace and joy that comes from Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior be with you now and always!

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