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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Where Grief and Christmas Meet


This is supposed to be the best time of the year, yet there is always pain mixed in the joy of this season. Even in the biblical nativity account,  hated King Herod introduces unimaginable grief into the miracle story of  Jesus' birth, with his ambition leading to deaths of many innocent children. Joy and pain in one story. Suffering and a Savior, intertwined.

 I feel the meaning of Christmas sharply in my soul this year. The coming of our hope, our Savior. We unexpectedly lost my husband's brother last month to a tragic accident. He was only 36, and a father of 4 children. He was a godly man, who had fought hard for joy, true love, and healing, before his life was cut way too short. I am truly proud to have been his little sister for 15 years. We are heartbroken.

 The joy and pain go hand in hand. The beauty of our world is so intricately connected to the pain, sometimes there is no separating them. You feel them both. They both hurt, but in different ways.

I keep crying, but one eye is filled with tears of grief, and the other tears of joy.  I honestly can't the difference anymore.

 I don't think I ever truly appreciated the beauty of this world or the overwhelming  grace, mercy, and miracle of the gospel, without the sharp pain of the suffering on this world. I hate that I have this new appreciation for the holiday,  and detest the avenue in which it was learned, but I do. The greatest gift God can give us, besides our salvation, is perspective.

I know the pain of seeing a loved one pass away before my eyes, while at the same time feeling the joy of knowing he is falling on his knees as he sees the face of his savior. Both pain and joy, sitting next to each other in my heart. Extreme pain, extreme joy.

Today I fall on my knees, with both crushing grief and overwhelming thankfulness in equal measure. I hear the Gospel Story, and see my Savior.

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