Tidings of Comfort and Joy

I have been dreaming of my Mom again. For the first time a quite a while she has been a guest in my sleep.  I suspect it is because the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas was always so meaningful for her and I.  Our traditions began on Thanksgiving as we planned the Black Friday shopping trip and continued all through the holiday season with shopping and baking and creating things together.

The last month of her life in 2008 was through the Christmas season, and I keenly felt the loss of all of those things.  For the first couple of years after her home-going I dreaded the celebration of Christmas, outwardly going through the motions while being broken inside in a way I never thought would change.

This year, nearly 4 years since she left us I am rejoicing in the season. I have embraced the carols and the decorations and the celebration of the birth of my Savior.  It has been difficult to emotionally dread this time of year, for I deeply love my Lord and have always loved celebrating His birth.

Grieving is truly a process, and as my friend Robert Kellemen says, "Moving through hurt to hope is a two-steps-forward, one-step-backward endeavor. We don't 'conquer a stage' and never return to it." (page 18 God's Healing for Life's Losses)

Hence the return of the dreams of my wonderful Mom as I am daily enjoying the beauty of this Christmas season and happily singing Christmas hymns, baking cookies, and decorating our home. My dreams are not sad or gruesome, but they are a reminder of the loss I still carry in my heart.  Better yet, they are a reminder of the hope that I have in Christ! A reminder of the bright future with Jesus that awaits me and every other believer; the eternal hope of heaven with God in Christ.

A part of me still grieves, yet I grieve as one who has hope. It is hope that makes me cry, Rejoice! Rejoice! and Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel.

Grace and peace to those who walk this journey of loss with me this year. If your loss is fresh, I can promise you that He will allow you to endure and you will make it through Christmas and New Years Eve.  If like me, your loss is beginning to lose it's harshest sting I encourage you to reach out to someone with words of comfort and joy.