For many years I have dreaded this time of the year. Christmas. Since 1979, December has been one of the most depressing months of all. December is the month in which my mother was called home. The month where all of my dreams were shattered. How can a 16 year old girl within 2 months of delivery of her own child grasp the magnitude of such a horrific crushing of the soul? The month I wanted to sleep away like a bear who makes its way into a cave for that great hibernation. No, I did not leap with joy for the Christmas season to begin, it was a month that I desired desperately to escape without notice.After much prayer and many tears, I have long since come out on the other side of that dread. I have long since learned to embrace this time as with all time, for no day is promised us. Though my flesh and selfish nature would rather have my mother here with me regardless of her state of being, I am thankful to know where she is and that I will one day see her again. On that glorious day, I will be able to look into her eyes and feel her embrace.
One of my fondest memories of my mother was at Christmas time. I found all of the toys stashed in a closet. I went into that closet, shut the door, and played my little heart out. I don’t remember the exact age, but I guess I may have been around 4 or 5 years old. My mother did not shout or scream when she found me enthralled in toy heaven. She just grabbed my hand, brought me out the closet. I was still happy on that Christmas day playing with those same toys, and just like that day, today I celebrate the reason for the season. After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year.Many are in that same space of pain and heartache of loved ones gone home. Many have abandoned the idea of celebrating and have taken up a weeping and mourning journey for the loss of their loved ones. To have this pain thrust upon them at a time such is this can and will leave many emotionally vacant. Some will go into anger, depression, blame, and hostility wanting only to use their hands to beat out the rage stirring in their souls. Some will have found their happy space knowing that living is better than being the walking dead. This was my resolve. To embrace the hour and to celebrate my mother’s life instead of creating my own torment.
My brothers and sisters, I have been there and I know well the sour taste in the pit of the soul. Let me share this with you. Jesus is the great comforter. Jesus is that great strength and power when you have none. In Matthew chapter 5 and verse 4, Jesus said this, Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. I encourage you to rest in that, trust it, believe it, and know without a shadow of doubt, that rest IS yours in the midst of all sorrow.