“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6

I was surprised this year at how emotional I was this Christmas.  I was definitely excited that my family was coming in town and that was a good emotion.  However I realized some time at the beginning of December how depressed I was.  This of course impeded everything I tried to do to get ready for Christmas so I wouldn’t be so rushed, tired, and overwhelmed when the week before Christmas arrived.  I always try to get everything ready early, so that I can rest and relax with my family when the time comes.  But like most years, I was running behind.  This year, it wasn’t that I had more to get done then any previous year.  This year depression set in and immobilized me as deep depression often does to it’s victims.  (I seriously considered showing up to work  in my pj’s with no shower – and I don’t work from home…)

Of course I miss Nathan every day.  For some reason this Christmas, more than last, the aching hurt and longing was greatly intensified (I’ll admit, I was a basket-case).  I guess last year I was still in shock or numb; I put on a brave face because that’s easier to do sometimes with people.  This year, I couldn’t fake the brave face anymore.  I was seriously hurting.  So much so that I couldn’t listen to any Christmas carols about baby Jesus.  You know those songs that don’t really sing about Jesus as our Savior, but sing more about Jesus as a baby.  There’s one in particular that I normally love,which is sung from a Dad’s perspective of his baby boy; but I couldn’t stand to hear it this year and the local station played it over and over again.  I just turned off the radio for most of Dec.  For those of you who know me know that I LOVE Christmas and Christmas music, carols, hymns, etc!  Not so much this year.

I still love our Savior and I love our Father in Heaven who sent His son to be our Savior.  I love that the day we celebrate as Christmas came; because if it had not, there would not be a way for us to be united with our Father God in Heaven.  But I miss my son and the joy that you have with an 18 month old at Christmas.  I heard one lady in a store talking with another lady with a child about Nathan’s age say that this is a “wrapping paper and bows kind of Christmas”.  They are still a little too young to understand all the presents, but they definitely like helping you unwrap them and they definitely like looking at all the pretty lights.  (They also like touching the tree, grabbing any ornaments they can reach, and eating tons of sugar to fuel all of this even further).

I hate missing out on these experiences with Nathan – I want my wrapping paper and bows Christmas!  But even with the pain of missing him and these moments, I would never, ever take back having Nathan.  Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is the greatest gift of all.  The second greatest gift to Jeff and me are the brief moments we had with our son.  While it may be hard for some people to understand how we can love or believe in God after losing our son, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was God who gave us Nathan.  There were too many insurmountable odds against us for having a baby on our own and those odds still prevent us today from having another child.  There is only One answer.

The build up of the “holiday season”, especially in light of the retail focus on children, does bring with it a inherent build up of emotion from losing a child.  But now that it is all over, I am reminded that focusing on the One true Gift of the season, Christ, is all that really matters.  Yes I will experience extreme sadness over the loss of my son, but in the end I know that Nathan is in Heaven; I am a mess and am grateful for the Savior; and one day I will be reunited with my son in Heaven because of what my Savior did for me at the Cross.  That is a lot to look forward to and be happy about!

PRAYER:

Father God, thank You for Your grace, love, and mercy.  Prince of Peace, You cover me with compassion and comfort in my darkest stormy moments, which I would not be able to get through otherwise.  May Your Spirit speak to my soul in good and bad times and help me to listen to hear Your counsel.  May the purpose for which You gave Nathan to us be fulfilled as You intend and Your name be glorified, Wonderful Mighty God.        ~ Amen

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