The new year rang in and we’re taking down the tree. It’s the calm after the storm. But for many there were storms within the storm. Some may have been blustery, and others passed without notice. Holidays with family and friends can create the moments that memories are made of. But the holidays can become a time of sadness instead of celebration when they fall on or around a day filled with memories of loss.

There have been tragic events recently that left many families drowning in loss. For others there are the memories of loved ones whose birthdays and other special dates and anniversaries crisscross the holidays.  For me, New Year’s Eve marked another birthday in heaven for my son, Stephen, who died in a car accident when he was six years old. My mind cannot wrap around all the years that have passed. I can close my eyes and still see my precious boy with his sunny smile. Without a doubt, New Year’s Eve celebrations left me numb and sad for many years.

But that sadness does not have to be forever. Over time, when we are ready to surrender our grief to God, He showers us with His grace. Grace becomes the ‘steel in our foundation.’ Grace becomes the ‘strength and comfort’ that gets us through the sad times and enables us to move through the next doorway in life.

I can honor Stephen and still make new memories with my family and friends. This year when all our New Year’s Eve plans fell through, our family embraced the time together. We cooked a wonderful meal and toasted the sweet memories of a child full of love and life. It was a great evening.

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 a God who is sovereign over all creation.

Today, I pray for all of you dear friends who may be feeling the sting of loss. You are not alone. The Lord is waiting to lift you up when you turn to Him. I lift your every loss to Him in prayer and ask 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.
—Psalm 119:76

Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year and abundant blessings in 2022.

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