Monday, December 2, 2013

For Anyone Whose Missing Someone This Christmas

I’m going to be honest. It’s the beginning of December and there is a small sadness in my heart that I will soon be celebrating another Christmas without my son. There are lots of reasons why parents and children find themselves apart for the holidays. Sometimes it’s geographically or financially impossible to come together. I know a couple whose children are scattered all over the world. There are those who are in the military stationed too far away or those whose employment obligations make it impossible to travel. Sometimes it is an estrangement. I know two women whose children refuse to talk to them—celebrating the holiday together isn’t going to happen. And there are those like me whose children are celebrating the coming of the Savior in heaven. So I realize that what I say here has a much wider scope than my own personal situation. If we were able to examine each and every family unit, we could probably find someone’s empty chair at every feast table.

So how do we deal with this? The answer: Share love, seek joy, and put down, leave behind and forget worry and concern. (Check out my post What Makes a Moment Happy?)

  1. As I go into this day and through the season, I need to share the love of Christ with those around me. Giving away God’s love produces an abundance of joy and peace in and through us.
  2. Yes, it’s true that we find what we're looking for and if we're looking for that empty seat to be filled by someone who can’t or won’t, we are going to find emptiness. But if we look instead for the joy of the season, we will find that instead. That doesn’t mean the empty chair isn’t there. It means we are looking past it to find the joy of God and of the family and friends whom we are blessed to be with this holiday season.
  3. Lastly we need to put down, leave behind and forget worry and concern. That’s a very hard thing to do. I can’t keep holding onto something I’m putting down and walking away from. And my mother’s instinct wants to hold onto my son. If I put down my burden, my pain, my sadness, I’m going to want to take something up in my hands to hold. That’s just human nature. So am I going to pick it back up again or am I going to pick up the blessings of God found in Christ instead.

It would be so much easier to exist in my sadness. Who would blame me? But then, what wonders and joy I would miss out on. God has given me this precious new life in Christ and the way in which I can be thankful for and celebrate his great love and sacrifice is by living it, really living it! That doesn’t mean I won’t (and you won’t) have some sad moments. But if we keep in mind that this moment is about to pass and a new one is coming, than we can look forward with anticipation for the new blessing God is preparing for us in the moments to come in life.

If you are missing someone this Christmas—whatever the reason—my heart feels for you. You are not alone, even though you may feel like it. And there is joy to be seen and blessings to be shared if you look past your pain to God's grace waiting for you in family, friends, neighbors, the community church, and even in a stranger's smile or a blog. May God bless and keep you this Christmas Season. Amen.

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