I started writing about how I was searching for the meaning of Christmas at the beginning of Advent. I was needing to find meaning in a something that was so much more than “Just a Holiday.” I needed to find my place, a place that really rang true in my heart. An emphasis that resonated through my soul, taking flight in my Spirit.
Little by little I am finding that meaning. It hasn’t happened without a ton of effort, searching through scripture and asking God some direct, if not pointed questions.
In the course of this journey, I have heard back from other bloggers thanking me for my willingness to be bold and give a voice to an echo that is still not loud enough to hear. There is a key element in my journey that I missed. But it’s an element that not all of can relate to but ALL of us NEED to understand.
Not only do I struggle with finding the Spirit of Christmas this year, but I have struggled with it for 31 years. I really wasn’t able to put words to it until this week though when a fellow blogger asked me if I might be able to write about a very distinct topic:
Facing Christmas amidst heartache.
Heartache is broad. It’s sadness, grief, mourning, loss, isolation, abandonment, betrayal…find any adverb you want about an emotion that “haunts” you. Anything that makes you yearn for THAT time BEFORE. Anything that causes your eyes to “sweat” (in guy terms) or bring you to your knees out of desperation.
Christmas and Heartache shouldn’t exist together in the same sentence. But they can and they do, I can say that 31 Christmases later. I still remember the first time I had to decorate the “family” Christmas tree SOLO. The first time I had to wrap presents without sharing whispers of excitement or laughter (here come my tears.)
Christmas to “society at large” is supposed to be all about merriment, memory making and relationships.
What do you do when the cart balancing those three qualities is suddenly or inexplicably overturned and ALL the apples are falling or threatening to fall?
You ROLL WITH THEM. Dear God, roll with them. and FIND a WAY to get bruised without getting broken. Reach OUT to God. ‘Cause He’s got more answers than I can give you here!!
Bird’s Eye View
I drove into the Target parking lot today as I considered whether or not I should write this post. The parking lot was full and people were walking to and fro with packages in hand filling their cars with treasures and sipping their coffees. I thought about how NORMAL they seemed on the outside…and how much I couldn’t relate to that. I mean, sure I can shop and spend and splurge and drink coffee until I’m blue in the face and my feet hurt. But that’s only a “superficial something” to do.
Life Changes YOU when you:
Look at the face of a loved one slipping away on a hospital or hospice bed — you can’t understand that feeling of helplessness.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Realize the last breath has been taken and their soul has departed. You can FEEL the weight of carnal grief bearing down.
God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Have to see your Mother, Father, Sister, Brother or child in their casket prior to burial and recognize life will NEVER be the same…life WILL BE Different.