This has been a hard year. Not only for us, but for many friends who have lost friends, spouses, and family members as well as the death of dreams. I just got a Christmas card informing me of a tragic accident. In our own household, we’ve also lost friends, dreams and family – the most recent our brother-in-law. The losses are heavy and we are grieving in the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle. It all seems so empty this year and I’m not going to fake it.
I recently came across this passage that is especially meaningful this Advent season.
"I believe deeply that God does his best work in our lives during times of great heartbreak and loss, and I believe that much of that rich work is done by the hands of people who love us, who dive into the wreckage with us and show us who God is, over and over and over. There are years when the Christmas spirit is hard to come by, and it’s in those seasons when I’m so thankful for Advent. Consider it a less flashy but still very beautiful way of being present to this season. Give up for a while your false and failing attempts at merriment, and thank God for thin places, and for Advent, for a season that understands longing and loneliness and long nights. Let yourself fall open to Advent, to anticipation, to the belief that what is empty will be filled, what is broken will be repaired, and what is lost can always be found, no matter how many times it’s been lost."
— Shauna Niequist (Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way)
I cannot say it better. With that thought I want to wish you a blessed Advent, a blessed Christmas and a peaceful new year.
To read Ms. Niequist’s blog, go to: http://shaunaniequist.com/
Donna Kemper put aside her art career to care for a mother she hadn't seen in over a decade. For seven years she followed her mother's journey into dementia, caring for her and putting forgiveness into action.