So, what are you expecting this Christmas? Presents? A family get together? Traveling? A candlelight Christmas service with carols? Hope for a year that has seemed hopeless? Joy? We all have our expectations of what Christmas might bring. The problem is with any expectation, it doesn’t always happen as we want. Reality is different from expectation.
This advent season, I was planning on focusing more on my own heart. I was also expecting to get through this Christmas without grieving my mom as much. In the past it has been really hard for me to feel much like celebrating Christmas. It has been eight years now since my mom died on Christmas morning. Over the years it has gotten easier as I processed through my grief. But, when Christmas time comes around; I struggle. At first, I cried every time I saw the Christmas cards in the store rack labeled “For Mom on Christmas” But, it does get easier every year.
Until… that one thing that brings it all back. The pain and sadness that she is not here with me this Christmas.
Yesterday was that moment as I unpacked some Christmas decorations. There was this small house that lights up from a small bulb inside. It had been my mom’s. But, more than that, she had gotten it from her best friend as a gift. I thought about both my mom and her friend who were both gone now. Before I knew it, the tears were flowing down, unexpected. I had been doing so well this year. What happened? How can I shut off the grief I feel every year at Christmas?
Maybe this will be a part of my preparing my heart for Christmas. It is still tender and need of healing. A soft heart can hear from God.
As you prepare for this season, be mindful of those who might be grieving and validate their feelings. And look past the busyness of the season and ask God if there is something He is working on within your heart. Christmas is so much more than a baby in a manger. It is about a Savior. It is about the expected Messiah who came in a very unexpected way to accomplish what only He could in a very unexpected way. -God Bless, Nancy