Christmas for our family is bittersweet. We enter the holiday season reluctantly. On December 2, 2005, our first baby, Joy, was stillborn. That year personal tragedy eclipsed all Christmas festivities. Each year since, clouds of grief gather on our holiday horizon and linger.
Most other days, we are able to pretend our family is complete, but the holiday season carries a relentless emphasis on family. So the star that guided the three kings shines a spotlight on our loss, and the continuous choruses of “Silent Night” seep into the cracks of our hearts, reminding us of the sorrowful silence in that delivery room over a decade ago.
We miss our daughter every day, but Christmas is different. Now, during the December solstice, on the longest night of each year, we pause from merriment and bring our brokenness before God. We remember with intentionality our Baby Joy who changed our world, and we honor Jesus who brings joy to the whole world.
This message is an excerpt of “Traditions worth waiting for” in the December 2016 issue of Gather magazine. This selection is by Angela Khabeb.