For some of us, Christmas is going to be just that little bit hard. Maybe even a whole lot hard.
We have much to rejoice in; Christ was born! We have countless blessings. But despite that, hurting happens.
I hurt because I miss my father like crazy (to read about his death, click here). It is one day of the year that I would have talked to him and heard his voice. He'd have said what I wish I could hear once more. "Love ya sweetheart."........ Love you Dad.
I miss my little one, who is with the Lord.
I tend to struggle on like a soldier on duty. Just doing what I have to do for others without even giving myself time to realise why I'm prone to anger all of a sudden. Then one day, I will stop and realise, "Oh I'm grieving! No wonder I've been so easily irritated."
Times like christmas can come more quickly than we can prepare for emotionally. Sometimes the family gatherings can be a silent reminder of who isn't there. This year is like that for me; my sister in law is far from family, my dad is gone and my mum has moved interstate. Things are different.
But despite the grieving, I am still able to rejoice in many things.... Being middle brained (and therefore half a dozen of one and 6 of the other) has its advantages sometimes! :)
We have 4 precious little one. I'm thankful for that beyond words. I have a husband who loves me unconditionally. That is worth something indeed! I still have my 2 grandmas (91 and 85!). I have family, I have friends, I have a home, I have food and clothing and warm baths. I have freshly baked cake. With icing.
Life is good when you
count the little things. Even when a few big things have been taken away. Even when memories come back seemingly for the sole purpose of making my throat close shut and making my eyes a waterfall display.
So anyway, the main reason I'm writing all of this is because you may also have reasons to be grieving this year. You are not alone.... That is all I'm trying to say.....
Christmas is a most wonderful time of the year. We have the Saviour born unto us. The start of redemption began that night. We can celebrate with all our hearts because of that tremendous reality. We are redeemed.
A different temptation associated with Christmas.... this mentality that everything has to be perfect. It has to go off without a hitch. It has to have that warm glow about it; the lights on all around the house and a perfect meal cooked, served, appreciated and delighted in. That families will love one another perfectly; that we will get all the things we were hinting at; that our gifts will be everyone's favourite.
But Christmas isn't about things being outwardly perfect. It is not made redundant because we may be hurting or stressed out.
Christmas is special because God chose that moment to enter history in the physical. Christmas is a celebration, not of our imperfect circumstances or perfect preparation, but of God's grace incarnate.
Christmas isn't 'successful' if our children have been thoroughly drilled on the 'real meaning of Christmas'; made pasta decorations for the tree and made a nativity scene out of toilet rolls and tissue paper.
Christmas is successful because it was God's plan. God's good plan. A plan that He started and finished. A plan He is working out in each of our lives.
The true wonder of Christmas is summed up in this one word.....
Christmas was the start of a blessed hope for the future. My future. Your future too?
A hope that despite our frailness, despite death, despite hurt, despite our desire to be perfect on our own efforts, was secured for us forever.
In a dirty stable, without ceremony, was born a baby boy. When you see that baby, see hope.
Christmas may remind us of what is lost. But it is also the greatest reminder of what is gained. For a little while longer, we will still hurt, lose loved ones and cry. But we will always have hope. A greater hope than any hurt.
Now matter where you are this Christmas, I pray you will have hope. Hope in the God who cares for his people. Hope that one day all the tears will be dried, death defeated, relationships made perfect.
Merry Christmas to you and your kin! I truly pray that you will be blessed this christmas. Whether you are down here in the hot summer of Australia or New Zealand, in the middle of a snowy white christmas in America, Canada, Russia, Holland, or Germany. Whether you are in China, India, or Africa. I am praying just for you.
Thank you for those who have left encouraging comments over this last year. They are all a gift and I appreciate each one. Merry Christmas!
|Our little tree, safe from little hands... well mostly.|