My Heavy Holiday Heart

Well hello grief and heartache, I was wondering when you were going to sneak in and try to steal my Christmas joy. I wrote a post last year about this and it’s timeless because if you know grief, you know it doesn’t every truly disappear and it tends to be strongest this time of year. To compound that grief tends to be so many different feelings and a culmination of multiple losses or heartaches.

Just yesterday I got news that a good family friend died. Then his son’s wife died. This is one of those times I say, “Really God? WTH?” I might have actually said WTF if we’re gonna be honest here.

It was also the anniversary of the death of a favorite high school teacher and I was reminded of those memories as well. Not to mention, my only two remaining aunts are battling cancer and while I prayerfully will them more time, it weighs on my heart. So who’s got holiday spirit?? Anyone??

Well we needed a Christmas tree and had already planned on meeting to get one after my husband got off work so I put on a smiley face and went out to make some Christmas magic! Do you know how insignificant a Christmas tree feels on a day like that? But the Christmas queen in me resisted the urge to go full Grinch and I took my job of picking out a tree seriously. As I looked up I noticed the sky kept getting pinker. “Nice sky,” was my fleeting thought. I stood to have the trunk trimmed and had the same thought again, concentrating on just getting the damn tree. Not until I drove home (alone because we met at the store and everyone else was in my husband’s truck) I noticed the sky was the most brilliant stripes of pink and purple. It was breathtaking. And that’s when I felt him. Oh, I realized, that was you God. Peering at me through the Christmas trees to let me know you were there. That was you tugging at my heart to be silly with my son while we found the “right” one. And that was him in that moment that I pulled over to take it all in. Reminding me that in good times and especially in bad, he is always there.

My revelation wasn’t a revelation at all, I just get distracted and lose sight at times. But I know the truth to be that God is always with us. Even when we don’t feel it or see it, he’s working. I don’t deny that I have a lot of questions for the big guy. There has been timing and loss that I don’t understand. But I trust him. And I know that because he loves me, he is working for me, not against me. If you listen to Christian music you know I just ripped off some lyrics here. Forgive me, but they’re so true.

Whew- so I actually had a whole different point I was about to make and then Jesus took the wheel (ha, ok, you know I definitely stole that line). Anyhow, back to where I was going with all of this. I was just going to repost last year’s blog but I think this is important to add.

Before we crack, aka we scream at a child for shoes in the hall or make a snarky remark to our spouse (or worse!), we need to stop and acknowledge the pain we are feeling. We can heavy hearts AND decorate a Christmas tree. It’s NOT wrong to try to do the “happy” while you’re in the “sad.” The problem is when we pretend there is no sad. It’s exhausting and taxing on the body/mind/spirit.

So slow down, pause and take a beat for yourself. What did I do? Well you’re reading it. Writing calms and centers me. I also looked through old pictures. I cried. I text an old friend to reminisce. I made a cheese and meat board for dinner because it’s all I had energy for. I gave myself permission to move slower and not “do it all.” The never-ending to-do list could wait because I needed a pause. And my mind, body and spirit will be so much healthier for it. Not to mention I won’t scare all my people away. And man, if I know anything, it’s that I NEED my people right now most of all.

Friends, you are in my prayers. Even with all the sparkles and twinkles and sweet smells of the season, it can be terribly hard. If you or someone you know is dealing with grief, my post from last year, How I’m Dealing with Grief During the Holidays may help. Sharing is caring.


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