It’s Christmas Eve. I have been up since 4:19 this morning. That’s about an hour too early. I could have stayed in bed, pretending my body has a bit of common sense. That’s futile, in my experience.
I might be too excited to sleep. It’s Christmas Eve, you know. We’ve got chestnuts to roast, and popcorn to string. Well, maybe I would rather read my book and play some ping pong, but still. It’s a day to enjoy.
I have this buzz in my head. It’s persistent. I stopped this morning to acknowledge the buzz; I’ve been hearing it for a week or so now. I asked God if He’d translate what I’m hearing. I hope He answered.
I have been thinking hard about my friends and family carrying grief this Holiday Season. If that is you, then I think the translation of this buzz is meant for you to hear.
I think I’m supposed to say two things:
- Tomorrow won’t look like today.
- You’re sad, and it’s okay.
My sister, Gail, posted a picture this week of a past Christmas. She said it was one of her best Christmases. That Christmas, Gail’s beautiful son, Ryan, was alive. Ryan was a fun maker. He was full of joy.
Gail said that she remembers laughing so hard it hurt that Christmas; she has a picture as evidence. I enjoyed my family too that year. But, I look at that picture, and I have a different memory. That was another Christmas when I faked it. There have been more Christmases than I want to count when I generally faked having fun, and faked being present. Grief and sadness keep your mind occupied.
That Christmas, like so many others, I was wrestling with thoughts of Eddie’s future; trying to make peace with his health that seemed to be in an eternal downward spiral.
One year, on Christmas, Eddie was too sick to take the trip to Iowa to see Scott’s family. Scott and I made what felt to us like an excruciating decision. We left Eddie home with my parents for the day while we made a lightening quick trip to drop off presents, hug Scott’s family, and then turned around to come back home.
This decision felt traumatic for Scott and me. We just had a hard time accepting that this was our son’s life; missing life, really. It felt like a grave omen. As we were getting ready to leave for Iowa, I heard Scott sobbing in a corner of the basement. Scott was grief stricken too. Those were sad days.
That was yesterday. That isn’t today. I thank my precious Savior in heaven for showering mercy on this family of mine, and restoring Eddie’s health. All good things come from HIM.
The fact that our deepest wounds have been healed, does NOT put me in a position of authority to talk about dealing with grief at Christmas. You may rightfully be thinking, “You don’t know how I feel, Miki. Your problem is solved.”
That doesn’t change the fact that my heart feels pain for others who have to fake it this Christmas, or any Christmas. And, I feel compelled to tell you it is okay. YOU are okay.
I want you to know that you are NOT alone. You are not forgotten. I prayed for you this morning. I care about you. But, I also want to tell you that the God of the universe cares for you too. I’m not preaching to you. I’m not interested in converting you. I just want you to know today, that if you are sad, and you feel hopeless, there is a supernatural hope that can be found through faith. My faith in Jesus is not my religion. This faith I have is practical and supernatural., and sustained me when grief gripped my heart. This faith of mine yields hope, and that’s what I know you need. Hope. We all need hope.
Hope that a better outcome is ahead. Hope that we can survive the present.
I want you to have hope. Today is not tomorrow. You are not stuck here.
If you’re faking it today, it’s okay. It’s really okay. I want to tell you that you are brave. You got up today. You showed up. That is enough.
Be kind to yourself. Thank yourself for moving along. That’s all you need to do. You just have to take the next step.
I will keep praying for you today. I will pray that you know you are not alone. I will pray that you find supernatural hope. I will pray that you just take the next step, and congratulate yourself when you do.
You are loved. This is your time and place on this Earth, and your life has meaning. I pray you feel God’s love for you this Christmas.
Merry Christmas, my friend.