Christmas cards are flying in by the dozens — people are beginning to travel toward family — the kids are getting excited with cousins visiting — it’s all so enchanting…unless you are alone.
Loneliness for many can be most profound during this season of celebrating traditions and joining our hearts with family near and far. The tinsel on our trees glistens a little less — packages don’t have the same vibrance, if there are even any at all — gatherings aren’t the same and attending gatherings can multiply the absence of that one, or many, like the earth blanketed in a new fallen snow. It can leave you shattered like a Christmas Tree ornament that has dropped to the floor.
I have felt a bit of this loneliness during the holidays with all of my grandparents and parents now gone. I still have my sweet husband and my son and there are my husband’s parents — but the pain of loved ones passing is felt quite sharply during this season. I miss the trips to Virginia — the exuberance of the cold, bite in the air, as we pass from Georgia to South Carolina and then North Carolina. Seeing the Virginia “Welcome” sign is almost more excitement than I can bear and I can feel the thrill of it in my heart even now. Those times are gone, but there is still more!
The more that I have found is not about me! It is about giving someone who is much lonelier than I am, and filling their heart once again with the blessings that Christmas can bring.
Each year we journey to Astor and get a lady (we call Nana), who is 90 years young and bring her into our home to celebrate Jesus with us. We’ve been doing this for more than 20 years. She comes early and we take her home late. We eat, sit and talk, we open our gifts…our hearts are full because she allowed us to bring her into our home. As we make the journey back to Astor, my heart truly seems overwhelmed by the love that was enjoyed and how it warmed our home.
We all have traditions and we all suffer loss. It is okay to make new traditions…not just for yourself, but for others. Nana promptly writes me a letter a few days later and speaks of the memories we have made with her — her love for us — her salved loneliness through our love…which would not exist if it were not for Christ. We love because He first loved us!
We love, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19 NASB)
Jesus came packaged in a manger to bring us salvation and the forgiveness of sin — the greatest gift! It is only right that we would extend that gift to others through our love for Him!
I encourage you to add new traditions to your life…even if the old ones haven’t yet passed away. There are those who long for another Christmas around a family table, the smell of pine and cinnamon, and the joy of having love envelope them once again. You don’t need to worry about replacing their loss — just fill it and with the greatest Gift of all, Christ!!
A blessed Christmas to you!!