Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. Psalm 107:28-29 NIV
The Christmas season is upon us.
The music. The excitement. The decorations. The celebration of our Lord and Savior’s birth. The time for reflection, forgiveness, worship, and joy with family and friends.
But for those of us who have lost a loved one, the Christmas season can intensify emotions of sadness and feelings of loneliness. New waves of grief that had subsided become fierce and overwhelming again.
This is the fifteenth Christmas without my mom. We haven’t decorated, shopped, planned, celebrated, laughed, baked, or traveled together. I will never get to see her celebrate Christmas morning with my daughters who dress in matching jammies. They will never get to put baby Jesus in the manger together and hear her tell them about His birth.
I want to say that Christmas without her has gotten easier. In some ways it has, but with so many vivid memories of her around this time of year, the waves of grief can knock me off my feet without any notice.
I knew that my twenty-seventh Christmas with Mom would probably be our last together because she was so sick with cancer. I also knew the first Christmas without her would be hard, almost unbearable. That year my family and I booked a trip to Mexico—no tree, no traditions, no familiarity.
I will always carry the scars of my broken heart, but my scars are a reminder that God heals. On my fourteenth Christmas without Mom, I finally got her Christmas china set out of storage. After my mom died, I didn’t want the dishes because of the memories. This year, I was glad to have those dishes. I loved unwrapping each piece, remembering my mom, and being able to bring a part of her to my family table.
This Christmas, I cried when I got my mom’s nativity set out of storage and set it out for the first time since she left. But I found peace as I watched my daughters put the baby Jesus in the manger.
When we cry to the Lord in our troubles, He will bring us out of our distress. He will still the storm to a whisper and hush the waves of the sea.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your constant presence in my life. Thank You for taking the storms in my heart and calming me with Your healing touch.
Tweetable: How do you calm your Christmas storms?
Leslie Colburn is a mom and a writer with one goal: spreading encouragement and the message that re-gifting love is what matters the most. Her newest book, Perfectly YOU, is the next installment of the Cross My Heart Books series and will be released in early 2021.
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