Holidays with family and friends can create the moments that memories are made of. But the many faces of loss can rub the shine off those special times. The holiday can become a time of sadness instead of celebration when it falls on or around a day filled with memories of loss. But that doesn’t have to always be the case. On New Year’s Eve this year, my oldest son, Stephen would have been thirty-six years old. My mind cannot wrap around that time lapse as I can close my eyes and still see my precious boy with his sunny six-year-old smile.
Without a doubt, New Year’s Eve celebrations left me numb and sad for a number of years.
But, through the grace of the Lord, I can honor Stephen and still make new memories with my family and friends. When we choose to believe and trust in the Lord, He showers us with His free and unmerited gift of grace. To me, the word grace sounds delicate and even fragile. But the grace of God is anything but. God’s grace is the steel in our foundation. It imparts to us the strength and energy we need to stay the course. It gives us ‘comfort’ – the word from the Latin meaning ‘with strength.’ Grace is the ‘strength’ that gets us through the sad times and enables us to move forward.
Tears of loss still well up and sting, but the grace of God comforts and reminds me that Stephen lives in resurrection glory with the Lord. I can smile again and dare to create new memories, knowing that my precious child is cared for by the Lord who is sovereign over all creation.
Today, I pray for all of you dear friends who may be feeling the sting of loss, this year, this month, this holiday season. You are not alone. The Lord is waiting to lift you up when you turn to Him. Will, Meredith and I are lifting up your every loss to Him in prayer and asking that the comfort and strength of His grace will lighten your heart.
Lord, “Let your steadfast love comfort me according to
your promise to your servant.”
Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year and abundant blessings in 2019.
I was just thinking today that this week my Stefanie will also be 36 yo and that your Stephen and my Stef were but a week apart. Steve and I were just reminiscing how a few weeks before Stephen was born, you (beautifully pregnant AND very large with baby) and Gerry went to the St. V’s holiday party while we watched Dawn. We had so much fun with her. And, at the time, we were still not parents (and were longingly waiting for a baby). Soon after Stephen was born, we learned the news that our Stefanie was also born and she was going to become part of our “forever” family. It’s amazing to think that all of this happened for you and for us 36 years ago. When I read your post and saw little Stephen’s bright smile, at first it saddened me. But, in reading your wonderful blog, it warmed my heart and made me realize that his spirit as well as the the spirit of Gerry, Dawn, and Michael truly live on through each of us who choose to remember their lives. So I promise that we will remember Gerry and the kids in a special way on New Year’s Eve and will “smile” when we think of them smiling down on us from the heavens above. Love you, dear friend, and love to John, Meredith and Christian. Many blessings in 2019!