For many years, I struggled to keep myself from slipping down a dark hole of grief and sadness this time of year. Even though Thanksgiving and Christmas represented Jesus’ goodness and love for me, memories of wonderful past holiday celebrations only served as harsh reminders that the loved ones who had filled my young life with
special moments of fun, abundant love, and joy and were long gone. At other times, the fact that some of those people, like my dad, grandmom or brother, would never meet those who are so special to me now pulled me down even deeper.
Some years were heavier than others, depending on what was happening at the time, but the root was loss.
Along the way, I learned a valuable truth which has broken the holiday gloom and doom cycle: even though there have been losses which will never be regained, I cannot pine after what was or who once was, and how it all made me feel. Neither can I focus
on what could have been or what never was. As long I keep looking back, I will not be able to give my whole self to what and who God has blessed me with now; and my eyes will not behold the wonderful things God has prepared which are soon to come.
Although my past memories of the holidays and the people who were a part of them were amazing, the Lord let me know there are amazing things and people in my life now and in my future.
Now I can appreciate the Lord blessing me with an awesome family and the precious memories they gave me without being shackled to them in a way that keeps m
e from moving forward. I know that being whole and present with my family, friends, and acquaintances NOW will allow me to bring to them what the amazing people in my past brought me.
Knowing I have God-given purpose, and that God still has plans for me, even at this age, keeps my focus forward and dispels the grief and sadness over what and who was lost. Some things (or people) may have ended, but that was not THE end. How do I know this? I know because of Solomon’s words in Ecclesiastes 7:8 and 10:
“Endings are better than beginnings. Sticking to it is better than standing out.” “Don’t always be asking, “Where are the good old days?” Wise folks don’t ask questions like that.”
It is not wise to focus on the past because as verse 8 says, the end will be better than the beginning. Turn your sights to what you DO have now. Have vision for what God has prepared for you, where He wants to take you. This will help some of you out of gloom and doom because it helped me.
There IS more in store for you. Your ending will be better than your beginning (good or bad) if you give yourself to Christ and patiently let Him do His work in you.