Loss changes your perspective. It makes you realize (sometimes in the most painful way imaginable) that things are not what matter, people are. This Christmas Eve day I am thinking of those who are celebrating Christmas despite the absence of someone they love. Maybe the pain is so deep or the loss so fresh, they are not even celebrating -- they are just enduring.
For those people, I am wishing for future Christmases that they can enjoy... when the hole in their hearts is not so raw, when the people they are missing are back in their company. Maybe that reunion will take place in this life, and maybe it won't happen until the next, but the thing that I love most about Christmas and the true meaning behind it, is Hope.
Hope that we will celebrate Christmas with grandchildren near.
Hope that next Christmas the child we are longing to adopt will be in our homes.
Hope that our siblings and children will return safely from serving our country.
Hope that the babies we have lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, infant cancer ... will be restored to our arms once again.
Hope that the friends and family members we have had to say goodbye to, we will see and laugh with again.
Hope that came in the form of a baby born in a smelly barn.
Hope that is possible because of our Savior.
If you feel empty and alone this Christmas, if you feel the absence of someone you love, just hold on. Hold onto hope.