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.