Last week, due to circumstances beyond my control, I spent my first holiday without any family.
To get ahead of the pain, I sought wisdom from a friend who, due to her work, often spends holidays without hers. Even though she assured me she’s used to it, I could feel the hurt. The yearning for things to be different.
During the holidays, it’s difficult to not feel the loss of a shattered family. Be it death, divorce, or simply logistics, everything seems to point out our brokenness.
For years I ran myself ragged pursuing Hallmark worthy holidays. I stuffed Easter baskets, hung rows and rows of garland, I woke early to baste many a turkey. All the while feeling privileged to have my family intact. Blessed to live in a home that when decorated, could shine. Surely, I convinced myself, God was pleased with the life I’d built.
At the same time, the last thing I ever wanted to think about were the folks waking up the same way I did this Thanksgiving.
Now, I’m grateful for friends that would never leave me alone on a holiday. That reach out and embrace me like one of their own. Who go out of their way to make sure I fit in. But it’s never the same as your own family.
These past few days, I’ve thought a lot about the popular worship song, Hosanna. How in churches all across the world, we Christians love to raise our hands, and with tears in our eyes sing:
Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause
But, I wonder if I’ve ever fully grasped how God would answer such a request. And perhaps this Thanksgiving might just be it.
So, this Christmas, as I remind myself that, “Jesus is the reason for the season,” I’ll also consider this:
Maybe, these holidays are the hardest time of the year for Him.