This Christmas was good. Many of you who’ve followed my journey know that I did a series called “Bringing the Joy Back to Christmas: Twelve Days of Thankfulness.” That was such a meaningful, almost sacred twelve days for me. Being deliberate about looking for the good each day, no matter how it went, was exactly what I needed to keep my heart and mind on the many blessings in my life.
There is joy in sorrow, I will testify to that for the rest of my days.
In the midst of looking for the good, shopping for presents, wrapping and celebrating the birth of our Savior, a small miracle happened.
I enjoyed myself.
I wasn’t sure that was going to happen this year, or ever again for that matter. But it did. I guess that’s how healing works; one small step, day, event at a time. You don’t stop missing the person, you just understand that missing them will always be a part of you.
The feeling will sit in your heart like an uninvited guest forever.
But, as a friend of mine said so well, “grief does not have to define you.” It will influence your personality, alter your decisions and haunt you in the middle of the night. But, it does not get to rule your life from now on.
It does not get to decide who your friends are, tell you to stop laughing, stop you from travelling, keep you from reading a good book, steal the joy of a family vacation, or keep the sun from shining into your back porch. It can’t spoil the flavor of a good cup of coffee, block the joy of good conversation, or keep you from cooking your favorite recipe on a rainy night. It won’t be allowed to take away the coziness of a warm fire, the chill of a cold morning run or the sound of our children playing.
Grief cannot take away your life.
Oh, it can change the way you feel about life, but it has a season. Thankfully, seasons come to an end, or at least one blends into the next. Winter cannot overpower summer although we feel traces of it in the coolness of an early morning. Its presence is there, but it’s in the proper place. Not being in charge, but always sending reminders of its existence.
That’s exactly where I am in this grief process.
It doesn’t get to be the boss anymore, but it’s always there. Blending in with the seasons of my life and serving as a reminder of someone who will forever be missed.
Ecclesiastes 3 comes to mind these days…
A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Prayer: Father, this world hurts. We love and we lose, we laugh and we cry. We cannot make it through this day or any day without you. You are the One who brings peace. You offer a healing balm that helps us to cope and function in this life. Be near to our broken hearts today, send encouragement and fill us with hope. Remind us in our most difficult moments that we are here for a greater purpose and that you are not finished with us yet. In Jesus Name, Amen.