Friends, I know that this is probably one of the most difficult times of year. The hurt and pain from the loss of loved ones can often temper the joy that we see others expressing. And I know that celebrating advent, and finding hope, is one of the most important things you can do for yourself this season.
I write this from a place of knowing. Of understanding loss and grief. And knowing that I’m stuck in a place I don’t want to remain, but I can’t quite figure out how to move through.
As I write this, I have been reflecting on the fact that this is now the third Christmas I will have experienced, having known great pain and grief.
I’ve had to learn what it looks like to sit in the pain, embrace the grief, and then learn to find hope in the moment.
So, we turn towards HOPE.
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.
Despite the darkness, there is always a light. You might not be able to see it right now. In fact, it may be around a bend in the road. But, I can promise you, there is always a light. Here, Isaiah reminds us that a light dawns even in the land of deep darkness.
No matter what your darkness is, no matter the pain of loss, God is always with you. I will not say that there is a purpose or a plan for you pain. But I will gently remind you that God will use your pain for his greater purpose some day.
We can’t stay in the pain.
Friend, God doesn’t like to see you hurting. He longs to provide you healing for the pain. Think of healing like that light in Isaiah. God is always leading you towards healing, towards the light that leads you out of the darkness.
The hope of advent is the coming of Christ. It is the healing that comes.
As you enter the Christmas season this year, look for the glimpses of hope. Look for the places where God gives you a little glimpse into his love for you. Perhaps it’s through the smile of a stranger. Perhaps it’s a suprise card in the mail. You never know how God may be showing you his love for you. But I promise you He is. It’s the moments that spur you on for another few moments.
There’s no need to ask God to to enter into the season with you. He’s already here. He’s walking beside you. But you can ask him to open your eyes to experience Him in the moment, you will start to feel his presence. Seeing God in the moments will give you hope. Hope for healing. And hope for his future coming.
Giving hope to others.
This season, another thing to help others. Find ways to serve your friends and family. Get out in your community and do something out of your ordinary routine. Helping others helps give you more hope!