Every December she looked forward to her family arriving Christmas. In late November, I would call to find out her plans for Christmas. She shared her menu plans in detail.
She was famous for her Egusi soup which she made with ground melon seeds, bitter leaf, smoked fish, and chicken served over hot pounded yam. Everyone looked forward to her delicious meals.
As her children and grandchildren arrived for Christmas, the house came alive with laughter, conversations and a warm welcome. There was no Christmas tree or beautifully wrapped gifts. My mom’s gift to her family was love, prayers, and amazing food.
But Christmas 2014 was different.
Mom, the central hub of our family was gone… moved to a new home in heaven.
That Christmas, I felt an indescribable ache in my soul and my emotions were all over the place. One moment, I focused on Jesus and the true meaning of Christmas, another moment I felt overwhelmed with sadness and grief.
When I called home to check on my siblings, they also shared that they felt disoriented. For the first time, we did not know what to do at Christmas without our mom. We all spent that Christmas in a daze.
Perhaps, you are also grieving the loss of a loved one this Christmas; I get it. The emptiness and the ache you feel is real. Allow your self to go there and deal with it.
How do you fill the void when a loved one is no longer there?
- Recollect fond memories and moments
Think of the fun times and moments you shared with your loved one and let those memories bless you. For instance, when I think about my mom, I remember her waking up early to cover all her children in prayer, like a mother hen protecting her chicks. I remember her kindness, humility, and encouragement. Remembering her in this way leads me to thank God for allowing her to be my mom. We remember her with fond memories. Although we miss mom’s presence, over time, we have started new traditions.
- Lean into Jesus and let Him comfort your heart.
Channel your grief and emotions through Jesus and invite Him into your loneliness. He knows how you feel because he has also experienced pain and anguish.
He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. (Luke 22:41-43, NLT)
When Jesus faced emotional distress, he gave his emotions and feelings to God in prayer. As Jesus prayed an angel appeared to him and strengthened him. (Luke 22:40-43). When we surrender our grief to God in prayer, He will strengthen us.
This Christmas, as we give our grief and tears to Jesus, let us be encouraged by the hope of heaven.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
Mourning no more, crying no more, pain no more,
For the first things have gone away. Revelation 21:4 (Voice)
Prayer: Lord, we admit our loneliness and distress this Christmas because we miss our loved ones. Comfort our hearts and strengthen us with your power. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Merry Christmas friends!