‘Tis the season for merry and bright, isn’t it? I love Christmas time. The lights, festivities, celebration, meals, and quality time with those we love. It’s my favorite. And while I try my best to stay cheerful this holiday season, something is very clearly missing: my husband.
My husband is in another country this holiday season for his job and will not be home until January. So far, we have missed his birthday, Thanksgiving, and now Christmas together, with New Years still to come. It probably goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway. I miss him. I miss him terribly.
I have been praying for God to give me back that sparkle of joy I usually feel around this time of year and searching for it everywhere. I decorated our home, even though it’s just for the dog and I to enjoy. I have baked and played Christmas music and done all of the things that I would normally do this time of year, for some semblance of normalcy. It’s just not the same, something is missing.
So, I prayed some more and spent some quality time with God trying to find a way to enjoy the holidays this year while missing my husband. While feeling alone. While feeling left out. I cried, prayed some more, and cried again. Then, I opened my bible. Luke, chapter two.
Joseph took Mary, his pregnant wife, to his hometown the day Jesus was born. She was away from her own family and they didn’t even have a place to stay. Talk about feeling left out. They were quite literally left outside that night. And yet, in that night of what I am sure felt nothing like a holiday, God gave the world His greatest gift: Jesus.
The perspective I have found in this Christmas story is that it’s never really been about the festivities, meals, lights, or even the time with those we love. I am sure Joseph and Mary would have liked to have been surrounded by family that night. I am sure they would have liked to be anywhere but a manger. But they had what they needed for God to work His miracle. They had enough.
My husband and I would like to be home together surrounded by family. We would like to enjoy the traditions this world has built around the holiday season. But we have what we need for God to work His miracles. We have Jesus.
The angel armies celebrated the night Jesus was born. They celebrated and they sang because our savior was here! Take away the gifts under the tree, the shiny lights on houses, the mistletoe and the eggnog, and the comfort of a meal with our family all together. What is left? Jesus. The reason we all come together this time of year in the first place.
So, while I am missing my husband and waiting for him to come home. While I am away from my family and loved ones this holiday season. While I am feeling left out of tradition and normalcy, I am celebrating. I am celebrating the birth of my savior. I am celebrating the gift that God has given me through Jesus. I am celebrating the miracles and works that God has done and continues to do in my life. I am celebrating my marriage and that I have a husband so worthy of being loved and missed so much.
It doesn’t mean it’s easy. Mary and Joseph didn’t have it easy that Christmas Eve. God never promised easy. He promised faithfulness and miracles. He promised love. And this Christmas, I am certainly not lacking love.
To the woman who is missing her husband this Christmas:
I want you to know how much I understand you. I want you to know that I know it hurts and it’s hard. I want you to know that God sees your heart longing for your husband to come home and is there with you while you wait. I want you to know I share the same feelings of sadness and frustration when looking at the calendar and seeing the days we missed while apart. I know this time of year is the hardest. But I also want you to know and remember the reason we all come together this time of year in the first place. To remember that Jesus was born in to the least of ideal circumstances and still a miracle. Our long-distance circumstances are less than ideal, but God is still working in it all, always.
Hang in there, sweet wife! Lean on Jesus, the greatest gift ever given.