Tears for The Holidays
By: Christie Hernandez
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
When people ask my favorite month of the year, they’re often surprised when I tell them September. “September? Why September?”, they ask. My response is usually, “Well, I love that it signifies a new season. I love the fall feel in the air, the sunny football Saturdays, and knowing the Holiday season is right around the corner. It’s the anticipation that the next few months will be packed with excitement and has so much to offer.” They usually nod in agreement and we start talking all things pumpkin spice, while I’m secretly giddy knowing someone else understands how much I love this time of year.
But this year, September wasn’t the same. This year September hit like a ton of bricks, an awful reminder that it had been exactly one month since we lost the most amazing women I had ever met. Not only was she was an amazing grandmother to my daughter and an amazing mother to the man who loved me most, but she was an amazing friend to all our family. For the past two years, she traded the life she knew, some three hours away, to help us raise our first child and without her, let’s just say we would have been a little lost more than once. But what I loved most about her was her gracefulness, how she shined so bright even when people were rude or bitter, and how she never let anything deter her from striving to be her best. She was truly a woman of God and was never afraid to express her faith.
I knew the Holidays would be different this year. And I was right. There was a lot less joy around the Thanksgiving table and a lot more sadness in the air. Heavy hearts and heavy minds made it hard to be grateful. With a broken spirit, I turned to the Lord and leaned on Him for understanding. He led me to these verses:
27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. 28 Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. 29 I have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe (John 14:27-29, NLT).
I was thankful the Lord provided me with these verses and I was more than grateful to be able to understand that we can’t accept the passing of a loved one unless we’re at peace with God’s plan for us and for others.
We’re blessed in that He leaves us with this peace, which passes all worldly understanding, and with the knowledge that we can show love through rejoicing for what is good for another. While my heart was battered from the loss of someone dear to me, I can rejoice in knowing that our spiritual relationship is far greater than our earthly one.
Times will be hard, we will face trials and tribulations but God has overcome them all and teaches us that we do not need to be troubled or afraid. We can simultaneously feel the pain for losing someone we care for deeply and understand that God is working for our greater good. So now, I am truly at peace with the loss of someone so dear to me.
Knowing that I’m able to cope with this loss has helped me be the strength for others who have been deeply affected. I treasure the moments we had with her, always thankful that she could grace my daughter’s life and leave an amazing impact. So, this year there will be tears for the Holidays. There will be sad tears, joyful tears, and grateful tears knowing that though this world is full of pain and suffering, we will always have the memories of our loved ones and that we can rest on the knowledge the best is yet to come.
Christie Hernandez is CEO and contributing writer at Heaven & Fifth, a weekly online devotional that seeks to inspire women to connect with God daily. She is passionate about sharing personal experiences which give opportunities to enrich others and help in their walk with Christ. Additionally, she aspires to broaden the #wearyourfaith movement by proudly wearing apparel that displays her faith.