I absolutely love Christmas music. I leave my radio tuned to the Christmas station from the first day they start playing until they stop. I like the kiddie songs, the religious songs, the oldies, and basically everything else. However, this year, there is a song that just strikes me differently. When it comes on, it gets under my skin and almost pulls the tears from my eyes. It’s an Elvis classic … Blue Christmas.
“I’ll have a blue Christmas without you. I’ll be so blue just thinking about you. Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me. And when those blue snowflakes start falling that’s when those blue memories start calling. You’ll be doin’ all right, with your Christmas of white, but I’ll have a blue blue blue blue Christmas.”
This year, my mother passed away, my oldest daughter started college, and I am currently separated from my husband. Each of these events, in and of themselves, would make me struggle at the holidays. But faced with all three of them together, some days my knees buckle under the weight of the world and it’s all I can do to just get through the day. My daughter is home for Christmas break which is a blessing. But the pain of losing my mother and the fact that I do not get to share our holiday activities with my husband of almost twenty years just breaks my heart again and again. That song just rings so true with me in a way that I have never heard it before.
I know there are others who are struggling with loss throughout the year and this season just makes those things hit especially hard. The holidays are so often about traditions and togetherness, and missing someone just becomes more tangible at a time of year when there was so much shared. Gift shopping hurts. Seeing Christmas lights brings tears. Christmas music stirs memories. Figuring out what to say in Christmas cards is a struggle. This is a season of Joy – filled with the wonder of the coming of our Savior who would save us from all our sin. But for me this year, it is a season of sadness. Every single thing reminds me of what I have lost. I know that it won’t feel this way forever. We will make new traditions and new memories. Each year will get easier and our Lord will guide us through this year and the ones to come. I know that with my head … I just wish someone could explain it to my heart.
So, as always, I find myself searching through God’s word for the comfort that He can bring. I turn to Psalm 147:3 which explains “God heals the broken hearted ones, and is binding up their painful spots.” My wounds are wide open now – leaving a gap in my heart and my life. But God will fill it. He will fill it with his love and his peace and his comfort and everything that is good about him. He will fill it so full that I will be bursting again for him. It will take time, and I know that. It is something that I can look forward to, something that gives me hope at a time when I simply feel empty. I know that I am not alone in feeling this sadness. But the God who breathed stars can certainly mend my cracked heart. And he can mend yours, too, if you let him into your life to do so.
This Christmas season, I hope that you take some time to savor what we celebrate for – whether it is with friends or family or by yourself remembering days more savored. Jesus is not just the reason for the season – he is our reason for every day. And he is here no matter what color we feel.