Ephesians 3:…16 I pray that out of the riches of His glory, He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to comprehend the length and width and height and depth of His love,…

Grieving Christmas is a list of juxtapositions. We are celebrating the birth of our savior, but we have lost a child. We are connecting with family members, but there is always one missing. We are opening gifts, but feel guilty for moving on without Jonathan.

God shaped the tangled vines of grief into beauty, by coming into our brokenness through Jesus, and he means for us to do the same. We display His identity, through joy, in the harshest of times. I’m not suggesting a forced, faked happiness, but a love that bubbles up in your pain, not in spite of it.

Christ didn’t come when everything was hunky dory in the world. He came in our desperate hour, when our losses outweighed our gains, and when the boot heel was on our throats.Israel was crying out for a savior, and as God in flesh took his first cry of humanity, our grief was changed to worship. Hope was born to the wise and the lowly, to shepherds and kings, to women and children, and to the poor, sick and needy. He was born in grief and raised us to new life in love.

That love enables me to shape grief into a new story. Not of what is lost, but what is gained. I fix my eyes ahead because Jonathan lived. His life is still changing mine. What I see as I grieve with hope:

  • Lives encouraged
  • God’s presence with us
  • Laughter is good medicine
  • My kids comforted
  • My family growing
  • Love poured out to the downcast
  • Souls saved from despair
  • Hope shaping my grief into joy

Open the gift of grief and allow beauty to be formed from the ashes of those things we cherished most on this earth.Loosen your grip on what isn’t and open your hands to the gift of what is and will be. What hope do you see this Christmas?

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