Those that know me,  know how much I love the Christmas season.  I love the music, the story.  Last night I had my staff in fits of laughter as I danced and clapped my hands with joy as my new lights went up in the courtyard at Tailrace.  So exciting!

Yet in the midst of pure joy my heart goes out to the One who sits in front of me and courageously bares their heart.

A heart that is grieving.

A heart that is wistful.

A heart that is having to do Christmas alone for the first time.

A heart that tries to reconcile with long loved family members only to be rejected again.

A heart that will experience the deafening sound of loneliness.

A heart that wonders is this all there is left of our marriage.

Christmas this year will be filled with grief, frustration and disappointment for many of my friends.

Christmas grief!

My heart aches as I sit and hear their story.

Christmas grief

Christmas grief

Christmas grief

I too lost a mother just days before Christmas.

I will never forget the 19th of December when she drew her last breath and went to live with Jesus.

I missed her place at the dinner table.

I missed her words.

I missed her laugh.

I missed her red hair.

I missed her heart.

I didn’t want to live her last words, “Enjoy life!  It is to be enjoyed.”

In that hard, cold, sad Christmas that none of us wanted I learned that God is extra close when life isn’t perfect.

He dives into the wreckage with us and is present.

He knows that at that moment we are not living perfect.  It’s not our fairytale.  It is not our happy ending.  It is not how we thought life would be.

But the heartbeat of the Christmas story is the story of a God that willingly dives into the hard, the broken, the sad, the weary, the lonely and is present.

It is the gift of presence that is the most beautiful thing.

To be present in the midst of our hard is LOVE.

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.  She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no guest room for him.” Luke 2:6 – 7

Christmas grief

My heart longed for life to be as it was.  To be perfect but what I discovered in that season is a God who doesn’t put all the pieces back together again but who instead gives the gift of presence.

The gift of being!

That he is big enough for the hard.

My heart goes out to you in this hard and difficult Christmas.

My prayer and hope is that the chaos around and within will recede and that if this Christmas is your hard Christmas that you will know his presence in the midst of the imperfect season.

23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”(which means “God with us”).