Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Joy


Three months ago I envisioned what these days would look like. The anticipation. The sparkle. The joy.


I have been afraid of the days to come. I have been afraid of my emotions. What if I can't find the joy in this season?


I was worried about decorating the tree. Check!

I was worried about Christmas shopping because I wanted to be buying for Aidan. I'm 98% done and actually had fun.

I'm stuck in a place of hiding my pain so as not to suck all of the joy out of a room and hurting so badly there are moments it bubbles over.

And, then I heard this.

Compassionate God, we ask that you free us from the darkness that traps us in our sadness. We ask the words to be spoken even when we cannot express them ourselves. Our experience of Christmas has changed because of a death or loss or physical or mental illness. We used to look forward to this time of year, too, but now we only feel like we are outside looking in on the joy. Bring back the joy.

The holiday season reminds us of what used to be. But the celebration of Your Son's birth...the real Christmas...reminds us of hope and promise. Please be near us during this season.

I attended the "Hope for the Holidays" Service with Emily today. This was not only said, but also written in the bulletin. Just for me. And you.

To me, it validated and assured. To Em, it was a window into my world.

The first service opened me up. The music pierced me. It left me raw and in an emotional upheaval.

The Hope Service took it all. It took the darkness of these days and acknowledged that I do and will struggle with our days without Aidan. And then I lit a candle to remind me that Jesus is the light. He is the lamp unto my feet. The guiding light along this path of darkness. My beacon of hope.

And then I was able to attend the Joy of Christmas and actually feel pieces of that joy. Because I had acknowledged the pain and learned that I'm not expected to be perfect now. By embracing the darkness my eyes adjusted and I can see the glow of light within it all.

I have a new goal. It's not just to survive. It's to celebrate all that we have and those precious moments we were given with Aidan. Most importantly, we will celebrate that Aidan is at the greatest birthday party and because that baby boy was born in a manger I will get to hold Aidan again. And that is the greatest gift I could ever receive.

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