December 24, 2009
From Jan. 1 to this very day, I think we all have had a stressful year. It's been emotionally draining from beginning to end and it ended with a bang with the loss of Pawpaw. Since he's been gone, not a single day goes by where I don't think about him. Losing him, by far, has been one of the biggest tragedies of my life and it's been such a battle choosing not to dwell in his absence. I tear up everyday, usually leading to a "boohoo", sometimes even 2 to 3 times a day. If there was ever a worst year to lose a loved one, this was it.
All that to say, it's been extremely difficult getting into the focus of the true meaning of Christmas. I definitely haven't been myself since November 2, so how can I try to make my heart feel something when sometimes I just want to feel nothing at all?
I've been praying the last few weeks for God to bring peace and joy into my life just so I am able to celebrate His Son's birth this Christmas. I pray that He takes away the sadness that is blocking my heart from remembering that night Jesus was born to save us. I've just wanted REST from the fact that my Pawpaw IS GONE. Especially since from now on, our holidays will no longer be shared with him.
One specific day, I was praying with such an urgency in my heart. I wanted the Lord to know how important His peace for my soul is for this Christmas. I prayed "God, just let me know that I can get through all of this while trying to deal with our tragedy."
And, sure enough, the Lord put Pawpaw being Heaven into perspective for me. He said "Heather, I know that you are so sad, even angry, that I took Pawpaw. But I want you to know how happy he is." You can't imagine how bittersweet it is to hear that from the Lord. God showed me that, in Heaven, Christmas is a whole new story, a whole different celebration from how we do it here on earth. He said that every single person realizes that they are IN HEAVEN because of Christmas. They realize "Christmas is why I'm here today!"
I thought of Pawpaw falling on his knees due to his first experience of Christmas in Heaven. What a party they must be throwing! All those times we sing "Away in a manger", all those times we hear the Christmas story in church or read it in the Bible, well the members in Heaven are hearing it straight from the mouth of Jesus! How overwhelmingly beautiful that must be! They are celebrating the birth of our King WITH THE KING HIMSELF.
THIS will be the most amazing Christmas Pawpaw has ever celebrated. The TRUE meaning of Christmas will hit him like a mack truck and I can only imagine the tears of joy he will shed because of it. I cannot wait to celebrate Christmas with my whole heart in Heaven and I'm so thankful that Pawpaw is doing that as we speak.