This Christmas season has been different than so many others for me. Has it been for you?
Grief has weighed me down amidst the usual joys of preparing for Advent. It’s my first Christmas since my mom passed away last December 27. Of course, this year has also been filled with so many other losses, for all of us this worldwide pandemic. Grief has become somewhat of the norm.
Keeping traditions as much as we have in the past has been my way of fighting for the joy. Yet, I’ve tried to give myself , and everyone else, more grace and leeway to let go of some of the traditional patterns we have kept, to not be so determined to keep them all in place that we end up causing more stress than finding Hope in the usual rhythms of this season.
I found some renewed hope in focusing on making more room in my heart for Christ and inviting Him even deeper into parts of my soul that I may not have even realized had grown overcrowded with the stuff of this world. God’s Spirit has come through for me by revealing a couple things in me that still need His transformation and by reminding me that He can do that for me if I will seek Him in those areas and allow Him to do His work there. God used songs to reach me in those places, and bits of quiet time, moments alone and focused on Him, away from all the sadnesses and disappointments of this world in this last year.
Just this last week, there was a song called “He is Worthy” that lifted me to the true Hope that is found in the Mystery of the Baby who came to our world so long ago. The reason for Christmas is our reason for Hope in whatever season or circumstances we find ourselves, at any time, but all the more so in times such as we have all seen in this last year.
I do not understand all the mysteries of how God took on our flesh in became fully human while still being fully Devine. Nor do I grasp all of Who God is or how all the stories we read in the Bible could’ve happened. However, I know that I find joy and Hope in Him, in reading about the Mystery, through embracing the Truth even though I don’t totally understand, and by asking Him to come into my heart in ever deeper ways, pursuing my relationship with Him and all the rhythms and traditions of life that bring me closer to Him.
I find Hope in believing in the Mystery, the unknowns , while knowing, from personal experience, that He is the only One who is able, who is worthy, who has come through for me in my life on the deepest levels, and who can truly redeem all of this mixed up world. I’m clinging to Him this Christmas, even in the sadnesses all around and within me.
God bless you at Christmas and in the year to come.