I let out a deep sigh of relief today. I can’t believe I hadn’t realized it sooner.
It hit me as I was rushing to grab a quick shower: we made it through the holidays.
Just that realization alone seemed to slow time. And I watched all the emotions wash down the drain. (Or lack thereof because our drain is a little clogged these days)
None the less the heaviness that I had carried during the holiday season rinsed away, and my heart filled with thankfulness. Relief.
I made it through all those long checkout lines, and traffic jams.
I managed to bake some of those cookies I found on Pinterest – even though I feared I didn’t have enough money or know-how.
My mom-sized heart accepted that I could not give my children every last thing I had placed on their list. But there were still smiles, girly squeals, and warm hugs.
I made it through the fear that money would determine how good, or how bad, our holiday went. (And it didn’t really matter all. Silly, fickle mind tricks.)
I grieved the pain of the ones who are no longer in my life. The bombardment of pictures filled with smiles and affectionate hugs as families gathered around tables were flashed in front of my face every.single.day. And the sting was there. It hurt. And I wanted to give in and say maybe what I have in front of me is not enough – a husband and three daughters. Were they enough for my holiday-heart to feel full?
But they were enough. More than enough. And God filled in those deep cracks tearing at my heart.
I didn’t know if I could bare one more word of those who insisted life was too short to feel gloomy during the most wonderful time of the year. I felt my pain. And I felt their joy. And I felt the weight of it all. I held my breath and just hoped to make it through it all, as I felt it all.
I held my breath for a long time, but I made it. And I didn’t realize it wasn’t my own breath that was keeping me alive this whole time, but instead God’s breath alone.
I was right when I said earlier in the holiday season that as quick as the holidays come creeping in, they quickly go out. So here’s to me, and all you who were with me. We made it through another Thanksgiving; another Christmas; another birthday; another New Year.
And maybe, just maybe, next year will be different. Maybe we will be the ones singing with joy and passing out smiles to strangers. Maybe we will feel those warm and fuzzy feelings like so many others. Baby steps though. This year we made it. We bore all those emotions and came out alive.