Loss at Christmas Time


As the Christmas season has been coming upon us my heart has been heavy for those who lost someone dear to them this year. Christmastime can oftentimes be the hardest. I think back to that first Christmas without my dad. After 34 years of celebrating alongside him, things were painfully different. I know the ache. If you've experience loss, you know it all too well too. And for anyone whose lost someone this year you are in my prayers and have been on my heart for the past few weeks. 

And then...

This past Sunday we lost a dear loved one ourselves. My husband’s step dad, my father in law, unexpectedly passed away on a sunny Christmastime Sunday. We gathered in the hospital, shocked, holding each other up, the stinging reality burning into our hearts yet still strange to our heads. It can’t be true. 

We just took family photos last week. Arms around each other. Cracking up over Doug and his “farm boy” stories as always. I just can’t be true.

We aren’t made to understand death because it’s not what we were made for. In the garden death wasn’t in the original plan. That was ushered in with forbidden fruit and the temptation to believe that God was holding something back from us. The knowledge of good AND evil that we now possess stings on a Sunday afternoon in a small hospital room. Death was ushered in. 

As much as we are enamored with the beauty of this world it’s at times in death when this place feels like a lack-luster foreign land. Our hearts ache for home. Our souls long for heaven. And yet God meets us here. 

Four years ago when I lost my dad the lights of my earthly world dimmed. I held anger, frustration, fear and questions in the dark. But when the lights are dimmed our ears can’t help but tune in to the still small voice of our Comforter. The whispers I received from my precious Savior in the dark are treasures I could have never received anywhere else. 

Much as the light of the world came to meet us as a baby in the quiet black of night, our Savior still meets us there. In the messy, unexpected, dark places He whispers treasures our hearts may not even be able to understand at the time and He gently, slowly, in His perfect timing lifts our gaze to see where "yonder breaks a new and glorious morn".