The holiday season is my absolute favorite time of the year. The cheer, crisp air, time spent with family, the traditions, laugher and so much more. It's a time of togetherness and quality time with the ones you love most. Many look forward to spending time with their loved ones and soaking in the joy surrounding Christmas. For some, it may not be all joy but a season of sadness and isolation.
I think of those battling illness, those facing trying times, the ones mourning the loss of a loved one, separated from the ones you love, for me it's missing my son. I'm reminded that every other year I won't be attending Christmas service with him, I don't get to read him a bedtime book about the birth of our Savior, do all of our Christmas traditions, and that I won't be woken up at an ungodly hour to open gifts. While I know that time with his father is very necessary I also feel saddened that this is how things have to be. It's hard to see others enjoying the look of pure happiness in their children while you long to see yours.
Scheduled drop offs and pickup, alternating holidays, etc. I think to myself, will the void be worse when I remarry and have more children? Will his absence be even more noticeable? I'm loaded with guilt about the reality of our situation and what that means for my son. Does his little heart long to be with mommy too? Vice versa when he's with me and not with dad? Will his little heart-break when he realizes his family dynamic looks different from most?
Today I think of the mama missing her baby or babies. I see you, I really do! This sucks! I understand all the thoughts going through your head. Two years ago I was begging God not to let this be my story. I was willing to sacrifice my happiness and stay in an unhealthy relationship all so my child would never have to travel between homes. So we would never have to bear the pain of a Christmas without each other.
Perhaps that doctor's report isn't what you expected, maybe you are feeling so devastated by that loss. It's hard to stay in good spirits when you are overtaken by sadness of what was and could have been. I know all too well what it's like to go through something and feel so alone. There have been plenty of times when I have felt like no one truly understands.
Every year, for the last three years I've had to get past a different hurdle, another loss, I've been faced with disappointment. The holiday has looked different in so many ways. None of which I ever expected in any capacity. One thing remained the same each year. One thing stood out from all the noise of the holiday season.
The birth of our King, Immanuel, God is with us.
Every year I rest on this truth, God is with us. No matter the circumstances, He is there. Although I feel lonely, I'm really not and neither are you. Even if many think this is a time of celebration it's okay if it's not for you. I'll tell you why, because He came for people like me and you. The broken, the lonely, the hurting, the ones struggling with that addiction, the ones mourning.
God. Is. With. You.
We don't have to stay in a place of sadness and isolation because we can rest assured of the immeasurable love of God has for us. Look, I don't have all the answers. All I know is that God has never failed me. I know that when I keep Him at the center of my trials He has a way of making things make sense. If you happen to need some time to wallow you can too. You don't have to muster up that holiday cheer. You can, however, leave it at the feet of the Savior who was sent to be with you and I. Nothing I have ever laid at His feet has gone unnoticed instead He's given me hope for a future in exchange for my fears.