This time of year is a blend of feelings of joy and pure wonder as we anticipate and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. This anticipation is elegantly dancing in harmony with the excitement of being with people who we deeply love.
Cue all the Hallmark movies, couch snuggles, decorations, hot cocoa and the prayer of a few cold-ish South Carolina days. Don’t we all love December evenings crisp enough for us to light up a crackling fire or two? Oh I pine for these special days all year long.
For many of us, these days are also filled with indescribable grief for wounds that have yet to heal and will likely never heal all the way. It’s filled with eerie and gut punching blows of the mysteries of what life would be like “if only” fill in the blank. My heart can be a blizzard of the good and the hard, oh so hard emotions from mid-November through mid-January of the new year.
My heart often weeps for my family of six as we muddle through personal Christmastime wounds and also for the past and present wounds that flood the hearts of those in our extended family and closest friends.
In early December of 2018, while I was sitting around the dinner table with my husband and four children, my oldest daughter, who was six at the time, suddenly started naming all of our family members at the table and then pointed to the sky to count our family as 7.
My husband and I looked at each other with a curious look and then to her for an explanation. My precious daughter confidently stated that we are a family of 7 because of the baby who died before her. It was all my husband and I could do to keep it together.
She is right. We are and always will be a family of seven (well, until marriage and grandbabies, of course!) My husband and I were overwhelmed with sorrow and joy all at the same time, I presume much like the sorrow and love that mingled down from the cross on Calvary.
I cannot begin to understand the “why” of the injuries our souls endure. Perhaps the overwhelming tidal waves of emotions that come to us during this time of the year are quite intentionally placed by God…
My heartfelt prayers are extended to everyone who is feeling the holiday heaviness this season. Find your hope in God’s promises to all of us as we weather this storm called life.
Our branches might break and our trees might lose their leaves but our roots will never change. Praise the Lord for his steadfastness and the truth that we are His chosen people, even in our deepest pain.
Joy. It’s a buzz word during the Christmas season. It’s quite pithy, actually when brought alongside what James 1:2-4 states: “Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
Joy. Consider it all joy this Christmas season. With every circumstance and experience, look to scripture and consider it all joy.
He loves you. He sent His one and only son to die on the cross for you.
Yes, for you. Cry a little, laugh a lot and consider it all joy this season and every season to come.
In His Mercy,
Erin Kay, LMSW & Christian Life Coach
© Erin Kay Coaching 2023