My heart has been a wreck lately. My sharp messy edges have been making little cuts everywhere I go. There’s something about the holidays that brings out the worst in me.
It should bring out the best, no? I’m surrounded by my dearest, I have so much more than I deserve, and there is something magical about this time of year. All year long I look forward to fall because fall is my favorite. Life takes on a slower quality, Thanksgiving comes, and then we fade into Christmas.
So here we are – at Christmas. The best time of the year. And yet, consistently, I end up in tears. Not the happy tears. The lonely tears. The tears of ache and unfulfilled longings. It’s like all the hurt from the year culminates in one moment and it becomes overwhelming.
The heartbreaks and tense words. The wounds inflicted knowingly and unknowingly. The goodbyes. The regrets. The conversations that began with, “we need to talk…” The helplessness of leaving a tiny African girl in a village without the medical care she needed. The pain of not being known. The realization of my humanity and sinfulness. The disappointment of letting people down. The love I gave that couldn’t have bee a waste but so often feels like a cruel joke.
As I sat with my precious family, grateful to have them gathered around a table, the lonely feeling only intensified. Something is missing. I don’t know how to describe it other than that. Someone is missing. Tonight it felt suffocating and stifling. I just needed to get out. So I do what I do best.
Well, more honestly, I got in my car and drove. I drove down the icy road with tears blurring my vision. I felt like I could keep driving until the road ended and my tears were all gone. But I knew that couldn’t happen.
So I pulled into my driveway and cried. As loudly and for as long as I wanted. I didn’t and still don’t know what I needed in that moment. I wanted family but not that family I have. I wanted friends but not the ones I know. I wanted Jesus but even wanting Him hurt.
And through hours of tears, what I realized is that what I need is my Papa. The only One who knows me the way I desperately want to be known. The only One who loves me with such intensity I can’t comprehend the fullness of it. I wanted the Papa who sings over me. The Papa who is Home. The Papa who takes my sharp edges and makes them into something beautiful. The Papa who has held me through the dark nights of my soul. Who, that night in that room in Africa, was weeping with me.
hold me, somebody, don’t let me be alone
love me, stay with me, I am dying to be known.
my heart cries out, I need a Father
whose love will never fail me
a friend like no other
whose trusted arms will hold me
I need a Father
And for me, that’s what Christmas is about. A Papa who loves me so much that He would send His son to take on flesh so I could be reconciled to Him. He loves me enough that He wanted me at any and all cost. So tonight, Christmas is a beautiful reminder of a love that changes my black and white life into radiant bursts of color.
here’s my heart
be tender please
let me know Your love for me
here’s my heart
I’m on my knees
I will trust
’cause I believe
You are my Father
Your love will never fail me