Holidays do funny things to me. Let me tell you, I'm a sucker for seasonal things. Here in Texas we don't exactly have all four seasons outside, but every year I'm determined to celebrate the season inside my home. I just love holidays. Even if no one (besides my husband and myself) ever saw the decorations, I would still decorate!
That's why this post is hard for me to write.
Lately I've noticed that it's getting harder and harder to conjure up those same old feelings of joy for holidays. I think with each passing year, the emptiness in my heart and in my home become harder to ignore.
Certainly there is joy and happiness and love in my heart and in my home. My husband and I are very happy with our marriage and in our little family of two. But there is a huge, unfulfilled desire that neither of us can ignore. We want children. We want to be parents. There is a void there for us both. There is an empty place in both of our hearts and in our home where our children should be. The holidays remind me of this.
Last week was so hard for me. I couldn't keep my eyes dry for very long, and it seemed that I was surrounded by a flood of emotions. The truth is, sometimes I struggle. Sometimes I feel like I don't do anything that makes a difference or amounts to much outside of these four walls. Sure, as a homemaker I have lots of responsibilities at home. I keep the house clean and the laundry done, on top of many other daily tasks. This is probably true for many people out there, but sometimes I don't feel needed. I don't feel necessary.
Oh, I imagine that there are parents who have those feelings, too. And sure, you can call it a pity party if you want. I'm just keeping it real and keeping it honest.
Halloween was just the very beginning of the whole holiday season. I don't recall ever being this affected by it in years past. Although I'm not necessarily a huge fan of Halloween in particular, I felt a huge absence this time. It was pretty quiet here. We spent the weekend with friends who were visiting. Our doorbell was rung only twice by trick-or-treaters that night. My sister sent photos of my adorable nephews dressed up in their costumes (they were a very handsome duo of Luigi and Wolverine). Countless friends posted pictures on Facebook of their cute little marauders. And I felt sad. Even in the days leading up to it, I felt so empty and so burdened by our situation.
Last Friday we went to see my two very favorite Christian artists, Bebo Norman and Jeremy Camp, in concert. It was a fairly small crowd and it was a special treat for me. We had great seats and it was a great show. I was particularly touched by the words to a couple of familiar Jeremy Camp songs that I've heard over and over again:
I still believe in Your faithfulness
I still believe in Your truth
I still believe in Your holy word
Even when I don't see, I still believe
I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see
Because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me
It truly was like a balm for my hurting heart, because I'll admit, right now I don't see. I cannot always see the big picture in this.
I know that the holidays are just getting started. I hope as the weeks pass and as my decorations change from autumn to winter, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, that we might begin to feel the excitement that usually comes with it. I hope that we'll focus on the many good things that have kept us happy and strong for all these years: our family, our friends, each other, and our hope and trust in our Lord.
Even when I don't see, I still believe.