Some of my fondest holiday memories involve my mom’s elaborate tray of festive desserts and the special traditions she carried out from my childhood well into adulthood. My mom was a stickler for detail, and those details birthed incredible memories that will last for years to come. In 2015, I lost my mother to cancer, and my first holiday season without her became anything but exciting and jovial. In fact, I began to dread the holidays. Grief had stopped me in my tracks, and I was completely unsure how to process my sudden transformation of feelings. The truth is, this time of year is a bold reminder that grief does not subside, take a timeout or stop, not even in the midst of the special holiday season.
As a woman who lost her mother, the very best friend a person could ever want in life, I will share two truths I learned from her passing—grief does not necessarily subside; it quiets itself at times, but grieving is an on-going process. On the bright side, however, is truth number two, the most powerful truth of all—God is always present in the space of deep despair. My heavy feelings of despair, especially during the holiday season, may have transformed into unrecognized, broken emotions yet my faith reminded me that He is a God of transformation. He just asks that you allow Him to heal you and guide you to peace.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. –Psalm 147:3
Allow God the opportunity to dwell in your defeat, discomfort and unhappiness. When He enters and remains in your life, He is able to transform your overwhelming despair with the comfort you need, especially during the holiday season, a time when grief feels most difficult to navigate through than ever. Remember, God understands loss. He knows the feeling all too well. He grieved His only Son. So, when you do not have peace, or you are overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and anger, depend on God to restore your strength, if only for a moment.
And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. –2 Corinthians 1:7
When you view loss from a faith-based perspective, the pains of missing your loved ones do not disappear, but your pain will operate from a different perspective, a perspective that knows and believes God promises joy to all. From one grieving person to another, you will get through this holiday season, and believe it or not, you will find joy and peace in a time you thought was impossible to enjoy again. God provides victory to the defeated, and His plans for us are greater than we could ever imagine. There is no right or wrong way to grieve, and there is no right or wrong way to feel during the holiday season when you have experienced the loss of a loved one; however, there is a way for peace to enter your heart during a seemingly impossible time—allow Him into your heart so he may heal, uplift, strengthen and comfort.
… Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. –Psalm 30:5