I’ve been thinking a lot about Christmas and what it means to me. A part of me feels like it’s wrong to celebrate Christmas this year. Wrong of me to pull out ALL of my over-the-top decorations and blast “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” through the house and make cream cheese pound cake in the shape of a gingerbread house, etc. etc. This part of me feels I should dress in sack-cloth and poor ashes over my head and perhaps even throw in a “Bah-Humbug” for good measure.
You see, last weekend we said goodbye to our 7th loved one in less than a year. We’ve lost a mom, two people who are the next closest thing to a parent, a mentor and great friend, a grandmother, and one of my best friend’s mom AND dad whom I’ve held dear since I was a teenager.
It has sucked!
Grief is so weird, too. It comes upon you like the crashing waves of the ocean. You can’t predict these waves or anything about them! Some are small and manageable. A few sudden tears here and there with feelings of nostalgia and thankfulness. Others are life sucking tsunami style forces that drag you under the surface into the black abyss. These monsters threaten to never let you reach the surface of relief (much less experience joy) ever again. The worst part (at least for a type A planner such as myself) is there’s no rhyme or reason to the frequency or velocity of these waves. They can’t be predicted.
But just as God controls the movement of the ocean, I have to believe He’s in control here as well.
Here’s the deal…
What I’ve learned from this year of loss is that satan is very active and very good at his life’s work. He has come to steal, kill and destroy and just as ancient cities were left vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy when their walls were compromised, so are we.
I believe satan is after families. It’s a smart tactic. If he can compromise the walls of a family they will eventually topple. Without love and care and maintenance they will leave all of the occupants of that city (family) exposed and vulnerable to attack. And what better time of year to assault a family than at Christmas!
I hate satan. I mean I really do.
Just as I’m ready to forgo all the traditions of the season and pull a “Christmas With The Cranks”, I remember that ALL of the people I just said goodbye to truly LOVED Christmas! And ALL of them, at one point or another (and some all through my life), contributed to my love-affair with this season! And most importantly, because of Christmas, I will see ALL of them again! ALL 7 of them!!
This most wonderful time of the year is just that! WONDERFUL, because it reminds me that after 7 funerals and hundreds of dark days in between (for me and the people I love most in this world) there will be an eternal peace on earth. After sin passes away and satan is vanquished, families will be reunited and we’ll all be safe in the arms of our savior. No more broken hearts, no more lies, betrayals, or death of any kind.
So, at the risk of a MAJOR “cheese” factor here… I encourage you (and me) this year when you are with all your family members (especially the ones you’re angry with) take a mental picture of them. Remember that they too are fighting a battle that you probably know little or nothing about. Their walls are being compromised by the same stupid enemy yours are. They need you. And you need them. They need your forgiveness (even if they never ask for it). And you need theirs (and you should ask for it). They need love. We all do.
He’s on His way. I just know it. But in the meantime we MUST be Him to the hurting world around us.
I LOVE that evergreen tree with all the sparkly, ornaments, lights and ribbon on it! In fact (shhhhhh) I love all three of mine. Hehe! They remind me that though Christ died on a dead tree, they couldn’t keep Him down. He’s always alive! He calms the waves. He revives families. He restores walls.
Merry Christmas and Happy Family Friday, from the Tamplin clan to you!