A friend recently asked me what the holidays would ideally look like for me this year. We were in the middle of a conversation about how our plans had changed multiple times and I think she was trying to help me figure out what I even wanted. But without skipping a beat I responded, “Greg would be here.”
Even typing that out brings tears to my eyes and puts a lump in my throat. I hadn’t realized until that moment that my discontent over our holiday plans was ultimately about not wanting to face another Thanksgiving and Christmas without Greg.
God has been doing so much work in my heart lately of making me face reality, but those realities are hard to face. Greg is gone. He isn’t coming back. I have to live the rest of my lifetime without him by my side. Like so many things, the holidays are forever changed because he isn’t here.
Fighting these realities doesn’t change anything. But it does rob me of joy.
I realized after speaking those words outloud that I have to make a choice. I can either keep grasping for something that will never be - holidays as they used to be with Greg by my side- or accept them for what they are. I can keep fighting the sorrows that God has written into my life or I can open my hands to the things he has for me now.
This is a constant struggle for me these days, but I don’t want to miss the joys of today because I’m longing for something that will never be again. Yes, from now on, holidays will have a thread of grief and sorrow running through them. But they can have joy too.
So, by faith, I am looking for the joy. Not the joy I used to have b
ut the joy that God has for me here and now. Not the holidays as they used to be but the holidays as they will be.
I miss Greg and I imagine that I will always miss him. Life with him was good. Now I have to trust that life without him can be good too.