Christmas can hurt, but there’s blessings in the gray…

Gray 3 Copyright 2013 Sheila Kimball

A light rain splatters cold and all is dreary in the Hudson Valley as barren limbs stretch towards gray flannel above.

Christmas is 18 days away.

And people I love are hurting this holiday season due to great sadness:  unexpected loss of a husband, an extended season of singleness, a serious addiction, a recent diagnosis and a marriage struggling.

No amount of Christmas lights and cheer and presents and mistletoe can conjure Hallmark moments.

And there were many Christmases that came and went when I was a single woman raising my sons alone where I wrestled with sadness surrounded on all sides by jolly and jingle.

The Savior’s birth made me rejoice, along with the delight of my children, but after the festivities were over and little ones were tucked safely slumbering, I would sit in the dark with the tree twinkling and cry out to Father.

Letting Him know I was sadder than sad and feeling very alone.

My great consolation was knowing that the Man of Sorrows was right there with me.

I thanked Him for Christmas and for providing and protecting me and mine all through the year.

For gifts small and simple in the daily details.

And for joy found among jagged pieces of a life split at the seams, the blessings in the gray.

Storefront Window Decorations on 5th Avenue

Holidays can be so very hard when we are sad or missing or lonely or scared. And my heart goes out to you if you find yourself in such a place this year.

There is no way to avoid the pain. We can only keep walking through the mist and the memories and the moaning one day at a time.

Lifting hurting hearts to the One who loves us most.

And we will cry and tears bring healing and then we can choose to offer our ache as an oblation to the Lord.

Like the wise men who followed the star, turning our attention to Jesus and gifting Him with a life lived for Him.

Focusing outward even in sadness and blessing another who may be in need or is struggling too, can ease our pain a bit.

For the message of Christmas is love that sacrifices and gives it’s all for the sake of others.

And in this there is joy.

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:10-12

All those years ago when my world had crashed and I couldn’t see past the pain I doubted a day would come when my heart wouldn’t throb tender especially at Christmas.

But in the fullness of time, according to the unfolding of His plan for my life, Father granted healing. And great joy now shared with a gift of a husband godly.

Yet I treasure all those days of sad and lonely for Jesus was never further away than my next heartbeat and it was there my relationship with Him grew stronger and I began learning how much He loves me.

When I heard Johnny Mathis on the radio this morning it felt like Jesus was singing the chorus for hurting hearts everywhere and I wanted to share the song with you.

So I’m sending you a little Christmas
Wrapped up with love
A little peace, a little light
To remind you of
How I’m waiting for you, praying for you
I wanted you to see
So I’m sending you a little Christmas
Till you come home to me

He’s waiting for you, and praying for you in your pain.

Unwrap the Precious this Christmas, receive His love and let Him hold you in your hurt…

~sheila

 

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4 thoughts on “Christmas can hurt, but there’s blessings in the gray…

  1. As a child we always decorated our tree as a family while the Johnny Mathis Christmas record was playing. Good memories! The most beautiful imagery here is that single mom crying out to the Lord in her pain in the glow of the Christmas lights with the children tucked safely in bed. I am so thankful for a God who listens to those raw emotions and meets us where we are. He has certainly heard your prayers and blessed you abundantly. Christmas can be so hard and it is good to have a sensitive spirit to those around us who may be hurting. I hurt for my hurting friends too. Blessing to you this Christmas and the Lord uses you to bless others.

    • So glad the post brought back happy memories for you, Rachael. And God does meet us in our pain and some of the most tender times with Him has been in the hurt as He pulled me in ever closer, safely tucking me under His wings. Blessed Lord!! Merry Christmas…