The holidays are opportunities for cheer, yes. But for many of us, they are also a time of painful firsts or difficult memories. When so many families are gathering with joy and laughter, this may be the first Christmas for some of us without a loved one who has died or perhaps we are returning to unhealthy family dynamics from our childhood. The good news is that Advent can hold all of this tension together as it reminds us that we are not going to be alone in our grief.
On her blog, my friend Shannon writes poignantly about the grief many of us must face into at this time of year. But she also finds a comfort, a spark of hope, in going through the motions of the season. She says: "I am feeling the loss and loneliness that the ancient Israelites felt. I am the one mourning, seeking to make sense of the losses that are heavy on my heart. And just like those ancient children of God, I too can find hope and joy again." Check it out here.
And as usual, here is a song for your day:
The Weight of the World (feat. Katy Bowser) by Rain for Roots