When your heart aches at the holidays

Have you been experiencing deep longings in your heart? As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday and the Advent-Christmas season, we wonder maybe a little more than usual about what truly makes us happy, what completely satisfies us. With the changes happening in my family as my mom has been placed recently in memory care, Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions are also being modified. Since I was a child I remember spending hours before the manger scene that graced the fireplace in our living room year after year. When my parents moved from the house to independent living, the crèche went with them and continued to have pride of place in their new apartment. But this year, I find my heart confused with a number of conflicting longings.

I long for things to be the way they were.

I long for my mom to be back in the apartment with Dad.

I long to set up the nativity with my Dad, as some sign that things will go ahead without really changing that much.

I long to let go and allow God to lead us all through this in his perfect design.

Our hearts ache a little more during the holidays, don’t they? We still haven’t found exactly what we are most deeply searching for.

And that’s OK. Because our longing–it’s good. The ache itself keeps us in touch with our need for God. The sometimes sharp pain keeps us focused on the billion needs that we are before God, that we are filled with needs that ultimately only God can satisfy.

Sr. Sharon, a good friend, shared with me an entry from her journal a number of years ago. In the very first line is the key to finding the peace we so long for:

Thank you, Jesus, for your delight in me, your creation.
I am a miracle of your love and mercy.
I love you. You love me.
Thank you for everything.
Love, you are love. May my humble life give you glory.
Lord, have mercy, have mercy. Amen.

Sr Sharon Legere, FSP

Our greatest desire is to know that God delights in us, wants to be with us, loves to hear our voices in prayer, chooses to “spend his time with us,” so to speak. God’s love for me is a miracle that will never fade. It is eternal.

What do you wish the Father would whisper right into the depths of your being? Quiet yourself down for just a moment and search inside for the answer to this question. Read as a prayer the journal entry above. And then listen to this Letter from God to you:

Image credit: #ArqTl on Pixabay

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