When Grief Tries to Steal Our Joy

I read somewhere long ago that you begin letting your children go at the moment they’re born.

Shocking right?

It didn’t take long after hearing that to begin to understand what it meant. It’s an attitude of the heart mamas. A big picture view of what is now, and what is coming. Prepare early. I’m serious.

This Christmas will be the first Christmas day that we may not lay eyes on our grown children and it’s giving me all sorts of feels. After 29 years of sleepy December 25’s filled with breakfast casserole, hot chocolate and the Christmas parade on the television, it will possibly be just Tim and me at home this year.

The Urban Dictionary defines GRIEF as something that causes problems, irritates, and harasses. As I read all the ways grief can be defined, HARRASSMENT jumped off the page, and I can’t help but wonder if there are other moms in the room with me on this, this Christmas season, feeling flat harassed as we adjust our traditions and make room for new ones.

On Christmas day, two pieces of my heart, and their little families, will be enjoying the holiday with their new families, exchanging gifts, sharing food, laughing, and soaking up how beautiful and blessed their lives are. We will have celebrated the holiday with them the day before, and I plan to sit with the one I am growing old with and exchange a gift, share food, laugh and reflect on how beautiful and blessed we have been to have shared so many years together.

Honestly, I’ve been grieving a bit as I anticipate this shift in traditions, but it’s not a loss. LIFE IS GOOD. There is no loss here, only gains. And memories to relish and a full heart over the joy my children are experiencing as they make their own memories and start their own traditions.

So this grief that has harassed me and pulled on my pants leg over and over, trying to convince me to have a pity party on Christmas morning, I see you, and you’re not welcome in my home or my heart in the coming days. I’ll be too busy enjoying my slow morning of coffee and soft clothes, a crackling fire and a string of Christmas movies on my flat screen. I’ll be busy getting pics from my children from their own celebrations of that day BECAUSE THEY ARE STILL MY BABIES, and I’ll celebrate with them in my messy bun and bath robe while we are miles apart.

Basically, I’ll be taking my cue from Mary, the mother of Jesus, treasuring and pondering all this new season in my heart (Luke 2:19).

December 25 only comes one day of the year. But the hope and the future that is here because of Jesus has been in existence since BEFORE my kids were ever born. So, if your Christmas morning will look a little different than the ones before, don’t let grief harass you. Don’t let the pity party that will try to steal your joy set up shop and pass out plates and offer you a slice of feel sorry for yourself cake.

There is joy to be had, even if you sit alone on this day. Because there’s always something to be thankful for. And the best gift you could ever receive at Christmas, or on any other day, has already been given.

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:8-12

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