The Christmas Season is upon us! What a wonderful message of a Savior being born. Personally I’m very thankful that I took the time to get to know my Savior Jesus and allow him to change my life from the inside out. Hope, peace, joy, and many other blessings are experienced living in the Grace that He freely gives. There are days during this time of years where many people do not experience the hope, peace and joy that He promises due to emotions that surface of those that are no longer with us here on earth.
This will be the first Christmas without my earthly father being present with us. This brings a mixture of emotions that can be difficult to deal with. I had 47 Christmases with my father and there is something missing this year as he will not be physically with us. This is a blessing and challenge at the same time!
Last year (Dec. 2016) my dad was about 3 months into treatment for lymphoma. Up to that point my dad had pretty much been a healthy man who didn’t complain about anything in his life. He faced a time in his life where he met a challenge that he couldn’t fix! He was always known as the man that could fix everything but when it comes to a life threatening disease, he was for sure out of his element and out of control.
My dad was not one to request many things but after his first few treatments of chemo he requested that the whole family be together for Christmas! We strategically picked a date that would work with his chemo and prayed that all would be well with that day. It was December 31st, 2016. The last day of 2016.
As we approached the end of the year it was iffy as to how he would feel but low and behold God showed up and dad was feeling great as he arrived for the party. What an enjoyable time that we had as the kids, grandkids and great-grandkids all got to be with dad/grandpa for what we now know as “One Last Christmas.”
It was five short months later that my dad would leave this earth and go to be with Jesus. I am very glad that we were able to capture our “One Last Christmas” in a picture at my dad’s request. It will be a memory that we will be able to cherish for the rest or our lives and the legacy that he left will continue to be alive. This is a memory that I will remember for life!
If you find yourself missing a loved one this year during the Christmas Season, I encourage you to find a positive memory to hold closely. Even though that particular loved will not be with you, keep the memories alive and celebrate the memories that you do have and not those that you do not!
As a closing, there was a song that provided strength for me and my family during the long journey of my dad’s battle for his life. Little did Casting Crowns know but God provided this song at the right time. Here are the lyrics, I hope they bless you as much as they did me. Merry Christmas!
Oh, my soul Oh, how you worry Oh, how you’re weary, from fearing you lost control This was the one thing, you didn’t see coming And no one would blame you, though If you cried in private If you tried to hide it away, so no one knows No one will see, if you stop believing
Oh, my soul You are not alone There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know One more day, He will make a way Let Him show you how, you can lay this down ‘Cause you’re not alone
Here and now You can be honest I won’t try to promise that someday it all works out ‘Cause this is the valley And even now, He is breathing on your dry bones And there will be dancing There will be beauty where beauty was ash and stone This much I know
Oh, my soul You are not alone There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know One more day, He will make a way Let Him show you how, you can lay this down
I’m not strong enough, I can’t take anymore (You can lay it down, you can lay it down) And my shipwrecked faith will never get me to shore (You can lay it down, you can lay it down) Can He find me here Can He keep me from going under
Oh, my soul You’re not alone There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know One more day, He will make a way Let Him show you how, you can lay this down ‘Cause you’re not alone Oh, my soul, you’re not alone