When the Holidays are Heavy

“How are you feeling this year?” My typical response a soft, “okay,” an okay heavy-laden with pain. If you’ve lost someone you love you know the holiday season the second time around can be just as hard as the first. The only difference between the two is time.

It’s been 469 days, a whole year plus a hundred more since Andrew left this place and my teacher time has taught me how to live here. Pain a close companion has formed and shaped my soul. Its grip, a gnawing ache inviting a revolving question, is there a cure for the pain? 

A question that reminds me of a song. A song Andrew and I enjoyed together on college car rides late at night. Its acoustic moody melody means so much more now. Reminding me the pain serves a purpose, even if the serving is slow. 

“And heaven knows... heaven knows
I tried to find a cure for the pain
Oh my Lord, to suffer like you do...
It would be a lie to run away”

(A cure for the pain, Jon Foreman)

Maybe the only way to lessen the pain is to settle into its presence, “it would be a lie to run away.”  Running away is only running towards something else, and maybe we aren’t meant to run towards something, but Someone.  Someone who, “consoles us as we endure the pain and hardship of life so that we may draw from His comfort and share it with others in their own struggles. For even as His suffering continues to flood over us, we experience the wealth of His comfort just the same.” (2 Corinthians 1:4-5)

Maybe the cure isn’t complicated, instead its simply sitting in the suffering with our savior. He isn’t expecting us to feel a certain way today, instead He’s inviting us to follow His way. A way where the pain is part of the process, but we don’t have to suffer alone. A way where comfort and discomfort collide, and we move towards a new kind of life where “the yoke is easy, and the burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30)

Maybe this holiday season is an invitation to place our heavy pain under the tree. 
Maybe the best gift we can give ourselves is to stop carrying it alone.
Maybe then we will start to see the season for what it really is,
the birth of our cure. 

The baby in the manager, 
The cure for the pain, 
The way, His Way, we make it through another holiday. 
One holiday at a time.

In it together,