The Happiest Time of the Year??

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year.  I enjoy the bright decorations and plates of cookies.  I enjoy shopping for the perfect gift and anticipating the joy of the receiver.  I love the secrets, cards, snow, and time with family.  I love the enthusiasm of my kids as they shop for each other and how we always fill a stocking for Molly, our lovable oaf of a dog.

Perhaps I had warm, fuzzy Christmases as a child.  Perhaps I watch too many Hallmark movies, or maybe I’m just happy and Christmas is one more reason for me to be cheerful.

This year is different.  I am not happy, cheerful, nor excited.

How is it even possible that Christmas has come anyway?  Why didn’t time stand still when my life did?  How can I go through all the motions of this holiday and feel nothing?

This year I see Calico Critters on sale and think of how much Rebekah loved to play with them.  I flip through the American Girl catalog that still comes in Rebekah’s name and circle the outfits she would choose for her doll.   I see sparkly skirts with matching leggings and am tempted to buy them even though she is not here to wear them.  I hung her purple stocking in its rightful place between Caleb and Micah and wonder if I should buy a bottle of bright pink nail polish to put in it.

Even beloved songs seem to annoy me, “Joy to the World” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.  How could you possibly be merry?  I am not merry.  I am not joyful.

Friends are talking about what they are purchasing for their kids.  I join in because I have wonderful kids that deserve a good holiday.  I listen politely to their talk, but my mind swirls with the thoughts that all I want is my daughter back.  No gift, no tradition, no happy memories from years gone by can make this happen.

Some nights I don’t sleep.  I lie in bed, snuggled with Mr. Separation Anxiety (also known as Baby Joel) and wish I could make it all better or make all the pain go away.  I think about Caleb and how some days he chooses not to talk or think or feel.  I think about Micah and how he still speaks of Rebekah in the present tense and Joshua, who is still waiting for her to come home.

One of our family traditions is our casual observance of Hanukkah.  Saying the prayers in the warm glow of the candles is a beautiful reminder that our God is all powerful and delivers us in the face of evil.  The Jews struggled against evil rulers, persecuted for refusing to bow down to false gods.  They rose up and fought for the truth.  It was not a quick deliverance.  It took time, lives, and strong faith, but in the end they overcame and the true God was glorified.

Isn’t Christmas celebrated as the birth of Christ?  The greatest story of hope that exists?  The Savior of the world, God with us, come to deliver us from that same evil.

The pain in my heart, my constant mood swings, the physical ache in my head and neck are here to stay.  The strong desire to stay in bed and forget that December 25th is even a day on the calendar, is not going away.

There will be no delivering me from them.  Not because God wants to see me suffer, but because He is best glorified through our struggle.  I am reminded of the crucifixion, a miserable way to die.  Without Christ’s suffering and death, we would have no hope, no salvation, no deliverance from this fallen world.

Now that my ramblings have taken on a form (sorry for the distracted journey I brought you all on) I see that hope is what my focus should be.

Hope that God will walk with me through the pain.

Hope that my boys will find happiness.

Hope that my daughter is surrounded by God’s love and in perfect peace.

Hope that I will one day see her and also be filled with that love and peace.

Hope that God has a purpose.

Hope that there is deliverance from pain.

Hope that He will be glorified.

Hope in salvation.

Hope of a resurrection.

This is my wish for you.  May each of you find hope this holiday season.

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6 thoughts on “The Happiest Time of the Year??”

  1. I read how beautiful about going to the grave of your daughter decorating it so beautiful. i first want to offer deep condolences. I have not lost a daughter. but iam a daughter who lived with my mother till i was 37 yrs old. she went in a nursing home in 2006 i was 38. i was homeless because i had lived with her my whole life. and chose not to get married or have children. my dad was ill 10 yrs and i helped my precious mother with him. she had a bad stroke in 2007. and was left a vegative state for 7 yrs. I go to her grave every weekend. and decorate her grave every weekend it has been 2 yrs since her passing. i finally found a guy to marry in 2007. she was in a vegative state when I got married. i was devistated by her illness and my loss of her. people don’t feel i should travel 3 hrs there to her grave every weekend and 3 hrs back. I moved to indiana in 2007. she is buried in kentucky. I had lived in kentucky up till 2004 and moved to asheville nc. with my mother she came back without me in 2005. and had to be put in a nursing home in 2006 due to dementia. she was put in there against her will by my older brother who took power of attorney wouldent let me spend time with my mother in 2006. then she had a bad stroke 2007. so my husband goes with me and we put flowers and differen kinds of decorations every holiday i redo her grave and my dad’s he is buried there also almost 17 yrs. iam still very devistated and I feel so alone without her. she had sheltered me most all my life. as well as she had my older brother. he never got married till age 39. and has a daughter. i never had children. and my husband has no children. but i feel your story of your precious beautiful daughter in heaven. she was beautiful and a child of god. may you and your husband and sons feel her watching over you and may your love and compassion for her continue on. i too still feel i want to do so much my mother and i had a wonderful close relationship with my daddy he died of cancer in 2001. but loosing my best buddy my mother was the hardest. i was the only daughter. and she was my mom, my sister, my best friend, my travel buddy. she loved florida and dreamed of going back there. so I go often to the thrift store and find florida things items and put on her gravesite. i miss her so. her name gladys. god bless you always forever

  2. Thinking of you a lot these days. Praying you will find your way through. Your life…YOU…are changed now. And I pray you will feel God’s guidance as to what it should look like. There IS a plan. Trust.

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Hi, I am Heather! I am a mom of five, homeschooler, homesteader, and lover of all things chocolate. I am excited to share your faith and parenting journeys with you. Whether you are here looking to grow your faith, heal from loss, find homeschool resources, or hope to find inspiration in raising godly children, you are in the right place. So, grab your favorite hot beverage, curl up in your comfy chair, and stay awhile.

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