For some, this holiday season will be a difficult one. Over the course of the year, and for many as a result of the September 11 events, we have lost loved ones. For myself, this will be my third Christmas without my mother.

Over the past couple of years I have walked through the holidays like a zombie. Usually putting on a smile face for those around me, but deeply in pain. I go through the motions of gift shopping and preparing meals with little joy in my heart.

My oldest daughter told me this year on my birthday, “I know you do not want to celebrate birthdays anymore (my mom passed away the day before), but we want to celebrate you, Mom.”

That comment shot through my heart like a double-edged sword. It made me reflect on what I have to be thankful for. I have a wonderful husband and two beautiful daughters who show their love for me everyday. I have church friends and neighbors who have been there and prayed for me through my journey of grief. I have my Lord, Jesus Christ, who knows and understands every bit of my pain. He has walked beside me through my good days and bad. He gives me hope.

My Lord, is the one I want to celebrate this Christmas. Without Him, I would have unbearable pain and despair. One of the greatest gifts He has given me is a memory. The memory of my mother’s smile, her quirky sense of humor and the holidays we’ve shared in the past. She is not gone from me, but remains in my memory and in my heart.

Allow God to hold you, to comfort you and rock you in His arms. Allow Him to catch every tear that falls. In the Book of Revelations, Chapter 3, Verse 20, He says, ” Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.” Open your heart and let Him come in. He has an unbelievable way of healing you.

The memories, the love, the laughter, the gifts of love, the touches and smiles of our loved ones are never forgotten. That’s God’s gift to us. And through Him, and Him alone, do we have hope that we will see our loved ones again someday.

Les Parrott's Making Happy
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Sometimes He takes those we have loved to be with Him. That is so difficult to grasp. We may never understand God’s purpose until the day we are reunited with them. The Lord showed me that purpose two days after my mothers death.

My brother came to me and told me he was afraid he would not be in Heaven with my mother someday. I asked him if he wanted assurance that he would be. He nodded. I lead him through a prayer that went something like this:

Dear Lord, I know I have messed up in my life and there is nothing I can do to make it better. I’m asking you to be the leader of my life and the forgiver of my sin. Please be with me always.”

It was that simple. Celebrate Christ this Christmas season, for He is the one we owe everything to. He is the one we have assurance in. He is the one who wipes away our tears and give us joy, happiness and hope.


Sheri Mueller with her husband Jim, are marriage mentors and co-founders of Growthtrac Ministries. Copyright © 2002 Sheri Mueller and Marriagetrac. All rights reserved.