Grieving Through The Holidays
I have been thinking lately about my attitude regarding "the holidays".   This has been a very
difficult year and I have been dreading facing "the  holidays" without a special loved one.  I
have come to realize that it is time for an attitude adjustment.

I want to celebrate the life and legacy of my brother.  I want to rejoice in the fact that I had
37 years with him and that we had a good relationship.  Most of all, I want to be thankful that
I can look forward to an eternity in heaven with him because of the gift of eternal life that our
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ provided for us.

That doesn't mean I'm finished with my tears.  And it doesn't mean that  my heart doesn't
ache with intense longing for the time my brother didn't have on this earth.

What it does mean is that I can find joy in the precious gifts that God  has given us ~
particularly, the gift of our children.  My son and my  brother's son are miracles of God.  If
my brother's death is teaching me  anything, it is to not take for granted or waste any of the
time that we have.  He died before his son was born.  He never got the opportunity  to hold
him, to love him, to experience life with him.  Oh, may I never miss the opportunities the Lord
gives me!

So, am I ready for "the holidays"?   Yes.  I'm ready to celebrate life and  love ~ eternal life,
eternal love through Jesus Christ our Lord.  I'm  ready for the joy of the Lord to permeate
every part of my being as I give over to him my hurts, my longings, my self centeredness.

Give him all your cares, your burdens, your hurts.  He wants to take your heavy load, too.  
Fall on the Rock ~ the sure and steady strong  tower.  You can find your peace and joy in
him this holiday season.

                               

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.
                                                  ~ John 1:16
© 2005,  Donna Johnson
Posted here with author's permission.
Donna submits this beautiful story of encouragement while grieving the loss of her brother.
He passed away unexpectedly in March from a heart attack. He and his wife had been
married just over a year and his wife had just found out she was expecting their first child,
a little boy born after his father's death.  Thank you, Donna, for sharing this heartwarming
story of encouragement here at Rainbow Faith ~ Ferna
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