The Light of Christ brings hope even in grief

My Forever Memories of You grief blog- facing Christmas

 

Dear friends,

If this is your first Christmas without your loved one by your side, you may be feeling more than a little overwhelmed. Even if it is your second or third holiday season without them, it can still be too much to think about facing without them. There are so many emotions are involved in the holidays with past traditions, hopes and celebrations. Your world has suddenly changed. Nothing seems the same.  There will be some like me who would like to take away your pain, but we can’t. It is something you must go through. There are others who will try to tell you in so many words to “get over it” or “go on.”

 

The only expert on your grief is you. No one but you can express what you had with your loved one and what you are missing. You are the one who must work through it and the holidays often intensify those emotions. One way to prepare is to give yourself room for the onslaught of emotions which are bound to sweep over you with or without warning during this Christmas season.

 

Only you know if continuing with a certain tradition will help or overload you. So it helps to make tentative plans and lighten your load. Don’t feel like you have to accomplish all the things you did in holidays past. Make a list of what you usually do and then mark the things that are most important to you. Leave yourself room to feel the memories, to cry, to enjoy, to heal, to miss, to laugh, to have quiet time and time shared with others. I know the pandemic complicates Christmas for everyone this year, but it is even more challenging than ever for those fresh in grief.  Make allowances for yourself. Be gentle with yourself.

 

If you make plans or accept invitations, let others know, you have no idea how you will feel on that day, so you may have to bow out or leave early. All of you know by now, grief doesn’t fit neatly into our schedule. Leave some time to have an evening to look through photos, relive memories, listen to music, set by the fire, and thank God for the great gift you were given in your loved one. Don’t be afraid to feel, it actually will help you in the long run.

 

And don’t forget that God sent Jesus, His Son, as a helpless baby- born to die to take away our sin so we can live with Him for all eternity. It is the most miraculous thing to ever happen. Your loved one may have had to leave but the Lord never will. He has always been with you, is now and forever will be.

 

Love and prayers for each of you during this Christmas season,

Eva

 

 

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”     Matthew 28:20

 

 

PS: In the comments, name something you will not do this year…and something you plan to do to honor Christmas and your loved one…

Heavenly Father,

 

There are few things as silent as snow falling. And there is nothing like snow to cause life to come to a stop- at least here in Oklahoma where it is a rare occurrence. This year the pandemic has slowed life down in many ways… and snow slows it down even more. When I look out the window at the soft snow falling without a sound, I am reminded once again how sweet it is to sit silently in Your presence and be covered by Your pure holiness.

 

So much happens when I’m still with You. It’s not so much that You speak in a booming voice, but as I sit still in Your presence, so much takes place in that stillness. Your Spirit falls softly in my very soul to calm me in Your heavenly peace. It’s not so much that You tell me where I should go or what I should do, but You are with me. You permeate me with Your very being and restore my soul. All my fears and anxieties are covered fresh with Your peaceful Spirit as I sit in silent trust in You.

 

Lord, You are pure and holy and good! There is no darkness in You at all. All Your plans and motives are much more pure than the glistening white flakes floating down from above. When I am finally silent and still before You- when I finally stop telling You what I want- when I am ready and willing to let Your will cover me, I become as fresh and new as that pure fresh snow I see outside. Yet I need You every single day, because we all know how dirty and messy snow can get as the day goes by.  So I sit quietly in Your presence today. Fall fresh on me…

 

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“Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”    Psalm 51:7

 

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”    Isaiah 1:18

 

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater…”   Isaiah 55:10

 

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Father, help me be still before You…