The light permeates the dark.
The glow magical.
The stockings are hung.
The tree decorated.
Lists are made.
We’ve gathered with friends and caught up on life.
The Christmas Carols play in the back round.
Christmas Cards line the walls.
The Advent Candles are lit and the preparations for the Birth of our Savior are well under way.
Yet, here I sit.
My heart aching.
I can’t deny it.
I can’t run from it.
The ache and pain of loss is real.
There’s no escaping the absence and emptiness felt.
The loss of a child represents loss of future.
We spend the rest of our lives adjusting for that loss.
What we thought or expected will never be.
The birth order changed.
“How many children do you have?”
“Is that your only boy?”
They are all reminders of the day the world stopped turning.
The day my heart shattered.
I try not to think of those moments.
They are excruciatingly painful.
Yet, this is my reality.
I live with a child in heaven.
A child full of love and wonder; dreams and a future.
In a moment.
As I cry out before the Author and King of all Kings, He quiets the raging ache.
He comforts the piercing, longing to see my son.
He gently reminds me, that He is in control.
He and He alone has a plan, I can not see.
God has taken the untamed ache and placed a balm.
Our farm boy will be gone for Christmas this year.
Boot Camp for the Marine Corps will be his home for a few months.
His absence has been hard.
The lack of communication.
The abruptness of the departure.
Yet it is not a death.
It is a change; different.
A good thing.
Our farm boy is stepping out.
He is making his life his own.
Change is so hard.
I want to recoil and avoid.
I’ve become good at avoiding lately.
It’s a way to not deal with pain or change.
In all this God wants us to lean into the change, embrace the pain.
Through it all He is there.
He is doing His work.
As I wrestle with these emotions and feelings this Holiday Season I continue to run to that Ancient Word.
I read truth and light.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
He is doing a new thing.
In you; in me.
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The promises foretold Centuries ago have come to pass.
The shoot has sprung from the stump of Jesse.
The Branch has brought life and is still bearing fruit.
I hold to these Ancient Promises.
The light permeates the darkness.
I let that light fill my being.
I am not strong.
But God is.
I am tired and weary from the constant barrage of things that have happened to us in such a small span of time.
But God is not.
This life is not mine.
I surrendered it years ago.
In that surrender God gave me the greatest gift of His Holy Spirit.
He is our Comforter and Hope.
I may ache, yet I have hope.
I am weary, yet my strength comes from on High.
That small shoot that springs from the stump gives us great hope.
The roots run deep.
I continue to sit in the quiet of this farmhouse parlor.
Soon there will be breakfast to cook, lunches to make, rides to give.
The pace will quicken.
I dig deep to hold onto these truths.
I want to take them with me through this day.
God will carry us through.
He will continue to take our ache and refine and reshape us.
I rest in these truths now.
May this Advent Season be a space for you to connect with the Living God.
Let Him hold all your aches and fears; hopes and dreams.
He is making a way.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.