It’s that time of year again when everyone seems more busy than usual. Where everyone seems more joyful and happier. Merrier. Somehow. But for me it’s another chance for the crashing waves of grief to hit. One, two, three. I wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t prepared for it. Inevitably it comes uninvited. If only I still had my son, life would be very different today. It grieves me. But he’s not here. Another year marked by his absence. It will be the 5th Christmas without him. Half a decade.
Though Christmas is approaching fast, it doesn’t feel like it. It’s not cold like I am used to. There is no snow. No snowman to build. Just a lot of rain. And more rain. Holes in my boots so my socks get wet. My coat gets damp, it’s not water proof. I should invest in a good pair of welly boots. After all this is the country of welly boots, so I’ve been told.
In a way I am looking forward to Christmas and in another way I am not. It is just another marker in the year where I am reminded of my loss, and grief comes in and touches me briefly. And drags me under his vicious current of reminders of not having my child here. Of not knowing where I belong and to whom. Do I belong to God? To my family? To my adopted family? Who do I belong to? Who am I? What is my purpose I wonder? I am sad today. Depressed, and falling into a dark hole, into the depths of dark murky waters as I try desperately to hold on and focus on the good. I have to remind myself that it is OK to have ups and downs. Sometimes the ups and downs teach us things about life. Learn to be patient. Learn to persevere. Learn to practice. Learn to humble yourself at the foot of the cross. Learn to be still in the Lord’s presence.
It’s that time of year again where you write what you have been able to achieve in the last year and think about your goals and aspirations in the next. But what is the use in writing your plans down? Writing what you have achieved? When really, it doesn’t matter what you have achieved, or what you have accomplished. Ultimately the only thing that really matters is whether you were able to be still and to just be God’s child. What is important is being able to humble yourself before the Lord and ask for a second chance, even a third chance. It takes courage to ask. We all have our ups and downs to varying degrees, none of us are perfect. God works with what we bring to him; and if it is our brokenness we bring him and allow him to work in us, then we can be sure that he will make all things new and beautiful. God knows exactly what our plans are.
So, can I say in all honesty that this has been a wonderful year? It has been a challenging year. The hardest since my son died. The first year after my son died was also very hard. But this year was also very testing. Did I draw near to God? At times, yes. At times, no. At times I ran a hundred miles. Totally a different direction. But I always returned to the cross where I laid my struggles down. What did you do? Was it a good year for you? A challenging year for you?
I feel sad today as I write this. I feel frazzled. Worn out. Tired. I just want to say goodbye to this year and move on. I want to enter the new year with joy and peace. Is that even possible? I want to know who I am in God. Who am I? And what is my purpose? Is my calling really to become a counsellor and if so, how will I achieve this goal?
I will face forward and cling onto hope. After all this is the season: love’s greatest ADVENTure.
Be at peace.