If I’m honest…I am relieved the “Holidays” are coming to a close. I don’t hate Thanksgiving or Christmas, the festivities, and all that goes with them…In fact, being with friends and family is something I love very much..but I just struggle more during this time of year without Warren. It’s like every event, every gathering, & every picture is a reminder that things are not as they should be…
The expectations and the pressure (from myself) to make things “right” is simply exhausting. The music, the lights, the parties, the gifts, the decorations, the shopping…the overall stress can just about send anybody over the edge…now add to that the constant ache and longing for my boy, that won’t be here again this year to celebrate…well, it’s almost too much
In my opinion, this time of year is the hardest…because you just can’t escape it
I think the conflict of what I’m supposed to “feel”, and how I actually “feel” is more intense. The holidays are supposed to be all merry and bright and everything jolly…and I want that, oh, I really want that…but it’s so much more of a “fight” between my head and my heart and I’m constantly having to ignore the pain so I can function. I tell myself, “I’ll grieve later…I’ll cry later.” And of course it can build up and then I act like a crazy person or take it out on someone, usually one of the two people I love most….I say I’m sorry, but what’s done is done and the words I can’t take back…. Oh, it can be a vicious cycle.
The distractions that come with the season also make things harder. Inevitably, schedules become busier and my attention is divided among too many things. Somehow, my routine of spending time in the Word can suffer, and oh how quickly my focus can be more on the things of this world…and then it’s only a matter of time before things spiral…downward…
The Hope of Christmas…
And then, when I least expect it, I receive a text, a note, a gift, or a word of encouragement that switches my attention to what I do love about this time of year….People remembering and loving and giving of themselves. My attention shifts from how I feel to what I know…and what I know is Jesus… And because of Jesus and the people that point me back to Jesus, I can see a little more clearly past the hurt to the Promise of the One who never changes and who is One Day going to make all these sad things untrue.
On Christmas Day…I told Grace we’d have to “try again next year” to make it better or somehow easier. What I actually insinuated was that maybe next year we could skip Christmas..and she immediately pulled back and told me I was losing my mind 🙂
She was right… and if I’m honest, I don’t want to skip Christmas. The truth is, I need Christmas. The Hope of Christmas is everything to me!
Flexible and Last Minute 🙂 …
We decided last minute to drive and be with family because being home alone, just the 3 of us, was something we weren’t ready for.
Christmas Eve Service, celebrating Jesus with my family in San Antonio couldn’t have been more special …
The wonderful noise of my nieces and nephews Christmas morning was exactly what we needed.
My favorite Christmas moment…
My favorite memory was early Christmas morning with Grace and my nephew Tatum …He was looking for “the red shirt my mom told me to put on before going downstairs”, and after finding it, he had his head inside the shirt, and I said something about praying together before waking mom and dad. Honestly, at the time I think i was using it as a stall tactic:) but when Tatum looked at me and said “ok” as if it were only natural that we pray first, I asked him what we should pray for….and with little to no hesitation at all he said, “Let’s ask Jesus to keep Warren safe in heaven and to tell Warren Merry Christmas.” As you can imagine, my eyes were warm with tears as I softly whispered the words this 6 year old boy had requested.
May I never forget that it’s in the “hard” that somehow I see Jesus most clearly. He never fails to show up and He is always perfectly ENOUGH!
A quick trip to the JW in San Antonio Christmas Day…a hard place for me because of the memories I have of being there as a family of 4. If I’m honest, it was a difficult 24hrs. I suppose the “let down” after Christmas is hard and the quiet that follows makes room for the reality of our life to settle back in… and so the “fight” continues to fix our eyes on Jesus…to remember that He is faithful..and to keep singing the song of victory…
The Song of Moses
Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying,
“I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously;
the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.
2 The Lord is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.”