“It seems as though maybe this is an okay way to celebrate Christmas. That maybe this is the way you move on. You find the small slivers of light, and you hunker down in them. You hole up in the still warmth of this kind of beauty and you wait, knowing that the beams will get wider and wider every day. Knowing that one day, you will wake into the full power of the sun, and you will finally be warm.”
~Addie Zierman, When We Were On Fire
From the archives: Teaching Tuck and Ty, December 2011
Joy to the world,
the Lord has come.
Let earth receive her king.
Let every heart prepare him room,
and heaven and nature sing.
I am realizing that I always thought of this lyric as my reminder to set aside the wrapping paper, shopping lists and bows, to slow down with the glitter and the ornaments, long enough to make room in my heart – for even a moment – to remember that this season is about so much more.
I know now: sadness will take up every inch it’s allowed.
This Christmas could easily pass with my heart wrapped entirely in grief and gray. As I listen to this song, it causes me to think differently.
To make room in my sadness for joy.
To allow my darkness to be soft enough to be aware of the light.
To let sadness step aside sometimes.
To remember – for even a moment – that this season is about so much more than death, loss, and heartache.
(Because I could very easily give my holiday to those three.)
May my broken heart prepare him room.
* * *
“May his light shine in our darkness and may I be ready to receive it with joy and thanksgiving.”
~ Henri Nouwen
There seems to be a force field around me, like I’ve been visited by Violet in The Incredibles. Nothing can penetrate me. Nothing can get close enough for me to feel it. It’s good and bad.
“Christmas is in two weeks. I feel nothing.”
“Well, I’d say that’s an improvement.”
Three Christmases later, I am not on the floor, crying. I don’t feel sad. Because I feel nothing. I can function. I’m not paralyzed into a catatonic state because of Christmas carols playing throughout Target. But I can’t feel joy, either. All the music, lights, happiness – I lean into it, and I feel nothing.
Christmas seems to be happening around me.
But I’m not running from it. So I’d say this is an improvement.
December, I miss loving you.
* * *
“December, the diamond-frosted clasp
linking twelve jeweled months to yet another year.”
~ Phyllis Nicholson
You just never know when something you fear will be easier than you think.
Hooray for new beginnings.