Another December 17th came and went. That’s my dads birthday….my Papa Smurf. Every year it’s so hard when it comes to a loved ones birthday or a special holiday and you know you won’t be celebrating with them. Christmas is almost here and for many, it’s the happiest time of the year. For others, they think of loved ones that have passed away and may be lonely, sad and on the brink of depression. As happy and wonderful Christmas is, many are suffering…….and sad……..
My Papa Smurf has been gone now for 13 years and my mom just passed away in 2014. To be honest, in times like this, Christmas, a holiday, a birthday or even just when I want to share good news with them, it breaks my heart that I can’t. It took me years to learn how to properly deal with losing my dad to cancer. I knew he would never know my husband, if I got married or if I had kids. That’s a hard pill to swallow for a girl, who loved and admired her dad. A year after he passed away, I met Aaron, my husband, and he taught me so much and has helped me to grow in my faith and my walk with the Lord.
I have been able to find a way to enjoy the holidays and birthdays without spending them in my bedroom, sleeping or hiding away from people because I couldn’t stop crying or I couldn’t handle that he is gone. I would be distant and sad and I know whenever certain holidays, his birthday or special events came that I would fall into a depression. Looking back I see it clearly and I’m so thankful that I had Aaron by my side to love me, show me grace and teach me how to handle things, by trusting in the Lord.
I can honestly say I can now face most of the holidays, birthdays and special occasions with a smile, remembering how amazing my parents were, how much they taught me and how much I love them. I have so many memories and I share stories as much as I can so that I can keep their memory alive, even though none of the boys, including Aaron ever met my dad. They all knew my mom so I try and keep some of her traditions and sayings alive and I have a very dry sense of humour like my dad, so that just comes naturally!!!
I do smile, but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel sad, or hurt or miss them like crazy. My heart longs for them and to hear their voice or call them. I have questions to ask that only they can answer. There’s things I want to share with them that a child wants to tell a parent. And I long to always hear that they are proud of me, even though in my heart I know they are. As I write this, I find myself crying, because my heart is longing for my parents…….but I know it’s good to cry, it’s healing and soothing and it means that my parents were so amazing that they are missed this much.
Holidays are hard, for so many of us. You may see some people that seem shut off or quiet, sitting alone in a corner or not saying much. Reach out to those people. Walk up to them and give them a hug. Smile at them. Tell them you love them. Show grace and compassion to others. You never know what they are going through or what they have been through. You don’t know what struggle they are trying to cope with or what type of storm they are going through. Make this year about being extra kind to others and making a difference. That doesn’t have to cost any money at all. Sometimes it’s just a phone call, a text, a written card or note, a hug or a smile……….when people do little things for me, it’s really what helps my heart and means the most.
Most people that are suffering or dreading Christmas are just like everyone else…….they just have had major losses, or illness or are going through a struggle and just need to know that someone cares. Be that someone. We are all one step, one situation, or one decision away from being that person who is struggling. Let’s show the love of God by our actions and really lift others up that need it during this time. One simple act of kindness can change a persons whole day or week………it does for me.
I have made an effort to put all of my worry, sadness and burdens at the foot of the cross where they belong. It’s not easy, but the bible says we can do that and we should do that, so I believe it and I do it. When I am putting all of my faith in God and asking Him for comfort and strength that only He can give……it’s amazing how much lighter the burdens become…….because I am no longer carrying them – I have left them where they belong – at the cross. Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we may be forgiven for all we do. That means He has taken over all of our sins, including anger, worry, fear, sadness, and anxiety along with whatever stronghold you may be dealing with when you ask for forgiveness. If you feel that you don’t have the joy you should right now, just stop and ask for God to help you and give it all to Him. Be free and start living in the moment so that you can see what is all around you – there really are so many blessings when your eyes are opened up to it…….
I was missing out on those blessings for a few years, however, I needed to go through what I did so that I could learn to have more compassion for others and to be able to relate to people on a different level. I am still learning everyday, and I will continue to as long as I live. The difference now is that when I feel that joy being sucked out of me, I stop and lay it down at the cross and then I see how I can help others. There is always someone who has gone through more and if we can help someone else, the feeling of that, is beyond pure joy.
I pray that your Christmas is filled with family and friends and loved ones and that the joy of the Lord is your strength and your refuge. If you need prayer always feel free to reach out to me, I’d be happy to pray for you, minister healing to you or whatever it is that you need.
God bless you and may God fill your hearts with His love and my you feel comfort that only God can give…….