When My “Merry” Is Not Here…

It’s the time of year when so much is made to look picture-perfect, when everything is supposed to be merry, festive, and bright.  And I am all for the decorations and music and food and ugly sweaters and even crazy movie plots like a Nutcracker coming to life and becoming the lead character’s sort-of-Christmas-boyfriend (thanks for that one, Lifetime)…

But I’m sitting here in my dark kitchen, trying to tackle this day, and things don’t feel so jolly.  For lots of various reasons, even while I remain grateful for so much, life just feels hard right now.  Christmas is swooping in with all of its parties and gift-buying and jingle bells, but I don’t feel ready for it.  My ‘merry’ is not here.  I feel sad and tired and like I’m only barely managing to keep it all together.

But there’s this little whisper, a wind, a breath that blows through and keeps this light burning bright even with all of my worn-out feelings ~

Emmanuel.

Emmanuel, God with us.

Emmanuel ~ God is HERE, with me.

In the sadness, in the un-festive, in the falling apart ~ there is steady joy that doesn’t disappear even when my merry feelings are out of sight.

I don’t have a lot of cheer.
But I have hope.

My hope is Jesus meeting us here, in the hard places and in the darkness and in the pain.  My hope is in a Savior who stays, who is our strength, whose presence means peace.

My hope is a God who makes all things new, promises every broken thing restored, whose love does not (will not and cannot) fail.

Love ~ stronger than darkness, stronger than sin, stronger than death ~ abides with us.

Emmanuel.
God is here.

Whether or not all the trimmings come along or not… even if nothing is picture-perfect… even if we can’t hold it all together… Love is holding us & won’t let go.

“I know You are with me and I know You go before me
I know You’ve been beside me through it all
You will never leave me, You will never leave me
I will trust the promise that You will never leave.
Come mountain or valley, you’ll find me singing
come mountain or valley, it is well.”

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