I knew it would be a different Christmas.
Our first Christmas without Amelia. sigh
Maybe it was a bit of a self fulfilling prophesy,
but it was indeed a very difficult Christmas.
Christmas Eve Tim and Noah were both very sick.
Puking, diarrhea. Let's just say it was a messy morning.
Determined to spend the holiday per our Lorang family tradition - we headed out to Tim's parents for soup, presents, cookies & Christmas Eve service at Mount Olive as a family. Sadly, Tim and Noah did not make it to church. As for me, the entire day was an emotional roller coaster. Between the morning sickness(why do they call it that when it lasts all day long?!?!), attempting to play nurse to Noah and Tim (sorry guys, I tried), and just plain getting through the day without Amelia, I found myself completely drained by 6:00pm.
All day long I felt as if I was watching myself carry out my day, my heart and mind separate from my body. I'm not quite sure how to explain that....
When Tim told me he was going to take Noah home and not go to church, I felt my gut twist up into the tightest knot. Selfishly, I was terrified of spending this service without them. Can you imagine being terrified to worship? on Christmas?!? Truth is I was counting on them. If I felt sad I was gona' squeeze Tim's hand. If I started to feel self pity I could look at Noah be reminded of the ways our Lord has blessed us through our children. How was I going to make it through this night without them?!?!
It was supposed to be Tim, me, Noah and our new baby girl squished into "our pew" between all of Tim's family.But it was just me in the pew with Tim's sister, brother in law and their two grown children.
I was terrified.
There I was, "alone" on Christmas Eve-
For the first time, in a long time, I felt like a stranger in my own church. Like some sort of misfit. Maybe it was better this way. Maybe it was best that I did not have Tim or Noah to lean on. Maybe it was best I didn't have my daddy's shoulder beside me in the pew to lean on. God plan was for me to come to church on Christmas Eve just as I was;
Broken and Alone.
It was a hard service.
Tears flowed and I found myself unable to sing the text or even hum the tune as the congregation sang "Away In A Manger."
To be honest, I hardly heard the message.
I could blame precious children's chatter in the pews around me,
but it would be misplaced.
I simply lacked focus.
I was focused inwardly,
distracted by self pity and heartbreak.
Grief is ugly.
Some days it just finds me
and I feel so powerless against it
I HATE it.
There was no magic moment or point in time during or after the service that my heart suddenly softened
or the tears threatening the edges of my eyes dissipated.
But it still happened, Christmas still came.
God's grace still found me, my heart still heard his voice.
Christmas was still perfect.
Christ is still perfect.
God is so good...
5 days ago