Monday, December 16, 2013

Tough Milestones

The day I've been dreading is here. I have no idea why I've been dreading this so much, but I have. Ten years is a long time to live without your son. While I know that there will be many more years without him, this milestone just seems so heavy to me. I haven't been sleeping well. My dreams are interrupted with snipets of his hospitalization. I don't get it.

In a way, Allan and I should be celebrating that we made it this far. Ten long and hard years. Instead, I am hunkering down so that the date on the calendar will change. Then I can breath again, for a day. The day after I will just want that calendar date to change so that Ava's 4th Anniversary will pass. .

After the passing of their Anniversaries I try to feel Christmassy. They anticipation, the excitement, the Holly Jolly. But it's never the same. Yet, it's not devoid of joy. It can't be. That would defeat the purpose of the birth of Christ. I do feel joy. I am just without the jolly. It's nice to no longer be swaddled in grief every minute. Now my grief is different than that. My perspective is different. I love to give gifts, yet at the same time I don't really care. Not out of a pity party that I don't have two of my children here, but because it's not what makes happiness stick.

There is anticipation and excitement to unwrap the pretty packages under the tree. To see if you get what you wish for. What you may even long for.  Those gifts, while fun and exciting, are temporal. I'm not saying that we shouldn't give gifts at Christmas. It's just that for, me I need to remember WHY I give the gifts. I give them out of the love I have for my family and friends. I give them to celebrate that fact that Jesus' birth was God's gift to us. Had that not happened, I would have spent this last decade of my life down trodden and empty. I would be without hope.

I think of so many of our Joy-Hope families who are new on this journey through grief. They are trying desperately to assimilate the weight of the emptiness around their Christmas Tree with their external need to feel "jolly". That just winds up ugly and in a pile of tears. You feel like you are doing something wrong, because you don't feel like celebrating, or shopping, or wrapping, or mailing out cards. Each year I try to handle only what won't put me over the edge. Sometimes I run out of steam sooner than others. I pray and ask God to fill my tank and help me face those traditions I dread. Then I ask for a little courage and a little time to just cry as much as I need to.

Will you pray for us? Will you pray for our Joy-Hope families? Will you pray for those in your life who are facing this time of year with heavy hearts? I would love to change focus from the "have to be" to "get to be" joyous. Having to be joyous at Christmas really is external. Getting to be Joyous is Eternal. When you think about and realize why Jesus was born, you can't help to feel a tiny bubble of joy in the recesses of your soul no matter how dark and heavy your burden. God came to earth as Man so we could relate. So He could die. So we, who believe, can live with Him in Heaven.

That's a tough pill to swallow for those whose hopes and dreams have been crushed by a God whom we think owes us good things and all our hearts desires. God wants good things for us, however Christianity is not a "get out of trouble" free card. We still live in a world of brokenness, sin and hurt. We live in a world where we sound the gong for peace and living in harmony. We live in a world where it seems to be a good person is enough. We dangerously live in a world where Jesus is not the root of all these ideas. Yet, although we don't recognize it, He is. Living in this world with peace in my soul comes from listening and talking with God. He is the reason that some of you think I'm brave. He's the reason I have gotten out of bed each day over the past 10 years without my son. He is the reason for you to have joy and hope in our hurtful and broken world.

3 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing. Yes, I will pray. You're heart is beautiful and it's a gift that you share it, even while it breaks.

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  2. Love you guys. Praying for you (and others). Thankful for how God has used you in my life and in multitudes of others. Thankful most of all for Christ who has made your lives beautiful in and for Him.

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  3. That is really a good post, our prayers are with you. Thanks for sharing it with us, looking forward to hear more from you.

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