Daughters of Promise November/December 2014 - Page 30

guarding them from comparison and entitlement-- and guiding them into truth and thankfulness. In the ebb and flow life, there will be happy holidays and sad holidays. I’m so sorry if you are in a sad holiday this winter. But, please know, it is okay for this holiday to be shaded darker than the others in your life. Allow it to bring you closer to Jesus, for you to feel the need of His healing deeper than you have ever felt it before. Years ago my father left our family right before the holidays. It was the worst holiday season ever. I spent Thanksgiving dinner crying, broken-hearted, in a dark room. I didn’t eat a thing that day. I was sure I would never eat again. But God and time brought perspective. I did eat again--and I have had many, many happy Thanksgivings since that horrible holiday. The sadness of yesterday brings new thankfulness to the joy of today. The painful holidays, the one where the friends were gone and the settings were new and the family strewn, are the ones that brought me to my knees the longest, the hardest. The one where I felt like I was walking with a heart in two pieces is the one I look back on and feel Jesus closest, the story of His coming to earth the most meaningful (because isn’t it when we feel like we need saving the most that we are most thankful for salvation?). If you are in a shaded dark holiday this year, I cry with you, hold you close. It’s sad to be sad during the holidays. But, please remember, it will not be like this forever. This too shall pass. There will be happier days ahead. Walk in this changing situation knowing the tears will turn to smiles again, the beautiful Christmas happiness will return. I promise. Now my holidays are bright (although I still can’t listen to “I’ll be home for Christmas,” without tearing up). It’s about wrapping a bow around a green tractor for my little boy, stealing a kiss from my husband under the mistletoe and enjoying time with family and friends close. It’s a good season, a season of rest and joy. I know that it’s a gift, this season of joy, and I hold it close--cradle it softly in my hands, knowing how fragile it is. It can all change in a blink, a flash. While I cradle this gift of joy, I cry with my friends whose holidays look dark, painful, unsettling this year. I pray for my friend who has an empty crib, a young wife who reaches to find her husband missing in the night, a friend who watches lovers all around her and silently wonders if she will ever have a family of her own. I cry with my friend who is lonely in a new community, feeling misplaced and forgotten. Together we are Tiny Tims looking into the window of plenty and joy with our fingers numb and tummies hollow, wishing for something to make the ache go away. That something is Jesus. He is the true meaning behind the holidays, and He is the only reason we can have hope when all seems dark during them. He alone will fill us with good things. Spend lots of time with Jesus to keep yourself grounded and to gain fresh perspective on what He is doing in your life this holiday. And—be gentle, very gentle with yourself. Being in a new setting -- whether physically or emotionally-- is a vulnerable, scary place. The holidays have a way of making -30-