It’s that time of year again. The hustle and bustle of shoppers and retail workers fill the streets and walkways. The sweet aromas of candles and cookies flood the air. There seems to be an overwhelming sense of something important, necessary, that is to come. 

Christmas Day is nearly here. Wrapping and baking and joyful singing are the routines of this week as the children leave school full of sugar and high on hope for the coming lazy days. 

In all of the chaos and disorder, the cheer and the chimes, something feels amiss.

Just one week ago, I knelt by the bedside of my grandmother after a sudden and massive stroke. My heart felt broken. With all the world around me rejoicing for the holidays to come, my soul insatiably craved more. The reality is, the future does not stop for pain. The calendar doesn’t pause for those in distress or trauma. Hearts ache for a soothing that seems lost inside the sterile emergency room, and it all doesn’t seem fair at Christmas. 

In those quiet moments near her bedside, not knowing what the future minutes and hours would hold, I pondered the past.  Perhaps this is what the world felt like a few thousand years ago. Dark. Unknown. Pining. Weary. 

I can’t sit in weary. I can feel it. I can stay there a while, but the notion to keep moving forward, pressing -on towards something…the need for hope is still buried deep within me. I can’t believe for the worst. Sitting in sadness removes all light from the soul; but then I am reminded. 

“ the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:5

In all the deepest sadness of the world, void and full of anguish, a child was born. He would be called Mighty, Counselor, Prince of Peace, many other names that would anchor us in a sure and steady hope for our future. For my future. For your future. 

In all the chaos of that hospital, where my grandmother still recovers today, in all the weariness that takes hold of my heart in uncertainty, I am reminded that all of this pain has already been overcome. There is a stillness and a peace that remains. There is light even in the darkest moments. Hope holds fast to those who call on the name of the Child born into darkness many weary nights ago. 

There is Peace in the Presence this Christmas. If you are aching this holiday, I invite you to remember the true meaning of the season: you are never alone in your pain. May this season hold unexpected blessing. May your heart be made whole. Lend your aching to the One strong enough to hold it all together and let the coming days be a testament to the hope that lies within. 

Merry Christmas from our tender hearts to yours. May your New Year be filled with purpose and healing.

Pregnancy Help Center exists to share hope and love. If you are found in unexpected pregnancy, we can help. If you’re scared, we can help. If you need to talk, we can help. We are located between Boardman and Youngstown near Youngstown State University and Akron Children’s hospital. If you need resources for your baby, we can help. Call or click today for your entirely no-cost and completely confidential care. Know Your Options.