Tuesday, December 25, 2007

reflecting on my own Christmas

So, I'm back home in my apartment . . . no roommates yet . . . and I've been reflecting a bit on today. By all standards it was a good Christmas. I had an amazing day with my family! Lots of fun and laughter and enjoyment of each others company. Even the exchanging of gifts (I'm not usually a fan of this part of the day) was enjoyable . . . and the food was delicious (my Grandma always does an amazing job on the dinner).

But, it was also a strange Christmas . . . it's just a little over a month since my uncle passed away. The first Christmas in a number of years without him . . . seeing his fiance (they never did get married before he died) sitting there at the table alone, with people who have become her family over the past few years. There was something missing this year.

We still had laughter . . . brought on mostly by my cousins' 8-1/2 month old daughter . . . but there was noticeably less of it than there usually is at a holiday with family. It was still good to be together . . . but in everything we did, it felt like there was something - someone - missing.

I think we were all a bit more reflective this year than usual. I mean, we all know that with the age that my cousins and I are we won't all be together at every holiday anymore, cuz we'll have other family commitments as we get married and all that. But, this year was different . . . we were all there, except for one important person . . . and he won't be there next year at Christmas, or at Easter in spring, or Thanksgiving in fall . . . and it doesn't feel right.

But, in the midst of all that today, I had the words to a song that I was listening to as I drove to meet my family for the day running through my head. It's a song written by a friend of a friend from when I was at Briercrest. This song has honestly become one of my favorites and one that has encouraged me a lot in the last month or so. The song is called, When I Walk Through the Dark. Here are the words to the song (I was hoping to upload it, but I couldn't get it to work).

When the pain seems like too much to take
When my heart can't stand enough the break
When the battle's wearing down on me
Stay by my side to comfort and guide me

When my feet don't know which step to take
When my heart's not sure which choice to make
When my eyes are blind to sights I see
Help me to know You're right beside me

Hold my hand when I walk through the dark
Speak my name so I know where you are
With You close I will not wander far away
When I walk through the dark

When the clouds block out the light of day
When the summer skies return to grey
When the rains pouir down and I can't see
Stay by my side, and come through this with me


Cover me, with Your love
I don't want to lose my way
And give up all the good here for me
You have planned what's best for me
So I want to be faithful to You

You are here as I walk through the dark
Your voice says "Child, I know where you are"
With You close I will follow the path You make
And walk on through the dark
Your voice says :Child, I know where you are"
With You close I will not wander far away
When I walk through the dark

The words to the chorus of the song have just become my prayer on so many occassions in the last month, as I have walked through the valley of grief. Sometimes things have seemed pretty dark in the last month . . . and today really could have been another one of those days. Yet, I know that there was joy and excitement in today because God is walking through this valley with us.

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