When someone we love dies, having Empty Seats at the Table during the holidays can feel sad. Alleta Liebenberg shares her story of missing a loved one today. And a way to see and experience God’s comfort.
Empty Seats at the Table: Missing a Loved One
I don’t remember much of the festivities that year. In fact, I think I was quite happy, because family rallied around, spoiled and gifted to numb the pain. And I was off to high school that January, which was exciting.
But as the years passed I have noticed that an increasing shadow of loss peeps in at the Christmas window. Now 36, with my own two children, I mourn the loss of a wise mother and grandmother. A voice of reason when I am too strict; giving tips on cutting corners with the ever stressful Christmas meal; a companion on those shopping trips for last-minute gifts; or stopping together for a sneaky piece of cake.
Missing a Loved One
Many of us have lost those we love, and this time of year has a way of amplifying feelings we manage to leave buried the rest of the time. It is a lonely time, both because they are not there and because we can’t always explain how we feel. Most of the time, we don’t even understand how feel.
Perhaps that is you today. But I want to offer you a different way to celebrate this Christmas.
Matthew 5:4 (NKJV) says:
“Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.”
Now, there is an application for this verse to mourning over our sins and those of the world. But I am going to focus on the sorrow we share for those no longer here.
“Blessed are those”
Don’t be ashamed of your grief. You don’t have to “Get over it!” Jesus understands grief and must have cried at many funerals during his lifetime. We know He cried for his friend Lazarus and for the people.
One Greek meaning of the word “comforted” is: “To call to one’s side, call for, summon.” God Himself comforts you today through the Holy Spirit ‘at your side.’ You are not alone. You can call on Him. What a beautiful promise.
So this Christmas I am going to do three things:
- I am going to allow myself to miss her and write down how I feel;
- I am going to allow myself to remember, celebrating her life by telling my children stories about her and making my own gifts, the way she used to; and
- I am going to be kind to myself and ask God for healing and comfort through the love of the Holy Spirit. No one else can do that for me.
Reflect: What can you do to celebrate the life of a loved one this Christmas?
Empty Seats at the Table: Missing a Loved One [Click to Tweet]
I am Alleta Liebenberg (pronounced “A-letter”). I am a wife and mother to two cheeky boys.We live in Johannesburg, South Africa and though the boys would love it, we don’t ride around on zebras all day (or ever).We are also recently back from living in the United Kingdom.In my spare time I try to find ways to keep track of whose turn it is on the Ipad. I write about my faith, my family, my mistakes and my healing. Join me for a good laugh, sometimes a good cry and always a good cup of tea. www.aletterwrites.wordpress.com