When Christmas is Complicated

A combination of life transitions  and unexpected events made this past fall one of the hardest seasons in recent memory. We are holding it together. The essentials are getting done. There’s food, water, and clean-ish laundry but there hasn’t been much time or energy for even basic Christmas decorating. For the first time, there is no Christmas tree.

Amidst the hard things, dear friends have walked alongside me. One created this kintsugi style bowl for me as a Christmas gift. It reminds me of hard lessons learned before: after healing, we are forever changed. Though we cannot control the hurt that comes our way, potential goodness and beauty are some of what my colleague names  “impossible possibilities” on her blog about prayer. 

For those for whom Christmas is complicated, I added to a list of resources shared in our children’s ministry newsletter that  I have found helpful in navigating the days ahead:

Poetry, prayer, and music are gifts (for you or a loved one) that journey with us through all that life brings. A few of my favorites:

We just dragged the old artificial Christmas tree out of storage. Still bare, it leans a bit sadly to the left. Maybe we’ll decorate it tonight. Maybe not. Either way, God is with us in the promise of healing and beauty that lie beyond what we imagine possible. God is with us in the strange coexistence of joy and hardship. God with us is the promise of Christmas.


This photograph is of a collage I created as I pondered how our hearts are shaped by both love and breaking.

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