November 16, 2015
I’m not one who easily talks or blogs about personal struggles, but I’m going to expose some deep pain in this blog post. I’ve never written about it before, and the only reason I do it now is because I think so many people suffer this time of year, and we need to be sensitive to it.
You’re wondering what my deep secret pain is, what story I’m hiding.
It’s the same story millions of mothers and grandmothers tell all over the world. Family estrangement, especially that of our children. We watch the Christmas specials on TV and wish with all our hearts that we were them. We try to deal with our children and grandchildren being enjoyed by others year after year when we long to have them all together once in a while.
We put on a smile and try not to think about the fact that our children don’t even speak to each other, let alone want to gather at mom and dad’s house to love on each other and share their lives.
This is going to happen in homes all over our cities and neighborhoods this holiday season. Not everything is as it seems for friends and family. Moms like me are going to find it hard to once again lower our ever hopeful expectations and accept that another Thanksgiving and Christmas will go by without a happy family gathering. It’s not the end of the world, but it affects us more than we like to admit.
I’m not writing this to whine and complain about my personal situation. I have been doing some research on the topic, and it’s alarming how many moms out there live through the holidays in pain and grief. Some are dealing with the physical loss of a child, some are living with broken relationships, and some are just longing for their family to be closer that it is.
I realize we have to share our children’s lives, not be the center of them.
Personality clashes, wayward children, divorce, distance, and money are always considerations in the dysfunction equation. Expectations are often out of balance, making it hard to see beyond our own comforts and wants.
All this being said, I want to encourage anyone who reads this to say a prayer for the hurting people this season, and not just the obvious ones. We can spend Thanksgiving serving at the mission, or spend Christmas Eve caroling at the local nursing homes. But in addition to those wonderful gestures, let’s not forget the ones who share our name, our heritage, our history. A phone call or short visit to your mom or dad or grandparent just might help ease the pain of separation they feel.
On the flip side, we are all God’s children, and He is in the business of healing, hope, and a special kind of family. This is where we often find the best kind of comfort and companionship, fellowshipping with Him. He wraps His arms around us and reminds us that this is not our home, and that ultimately we will feast at the greatest holiday of all – one that will last forever.
Have a blessed holiday season, wherever you are and whoever you are with.