Many are reflecting on the year 2014, what they did, what they didn’t do, and what they can do better in 2015. I spent much of December waiting to be rescued from what I would like to call Holiday Hell. I’m just being honest. It consisted of online shopping, Jay working, no Christmas parties, and Collin’s exams. I know, that really sounds like a pity party, doesn’t it? No, that’s just life!
A few co-workers and I were talking before Christmas how they just were not in the mood for the holidays. I told them it was okay. So many people view the holidays differently. I, for one, cannot tell you how many times I am asked during the holidays, “How are you doing?” Sometimes I want to say, “How do you THINK I am doing?” GEEZ! Close friends have stopped asking, some genuinely want to know, and others just assume. I’m not the Grinch, but I’m certainly not running up and down my street with jingle bells on either. My neighbors would certainly commit me (I would commit me). There were tears, but there were also smiles and remembrances of Christmases past. My point, my joy factor sinks during the holiday season. I try to concentrate on the REASON for the season. If Christ had not come as a babe, He would not have been able to die for my sins or that of my son.
Somehow, I began a conversation with a friend from church on text. We were talking about changes in our lives. Jay and I have been talking about many changes; visiting other churches, the sale of our home, school for Collin. It has just come to a point that maybe, just MAYBE Trey has been gone long enough to make some changes. I remembered during these talks something my boss reminded me of – 1 Corinthians 10:23 “You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”–but not everything is beneficial.” So some of these changes I have put on the back burner of my mind. After all, I haven’t exactly tackled Trey’s closet.
I had seen on Twitter and Facebook references to a sermon preached at Highpoint by their Student Pastor, Joel Johnson, on December 28. As Tami and I were talking, she told me she had attended the service and told me how wonderful the service was and what a refreshing word she received. I thought, okay, I’m game. So snug in my bed with my IPhone 6 smashed to my face, I began to watch the sermon “Landing on What’s Left.” I didn’t know whether to cry or laugh as he was preaching and he said, “Take what you have left and do something with it.” He also went on to say, “You can’t land on loss.” Humm…you can’t land on loss.
Then he said, “Turn to James 1:2-4.” WHAT? I came up out of my bed! That’s Trey’s verses. That’s what I use when I speak. It was God’s turn to speak to me. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Joel went on to say, “For a trial to be perfect, you have to let go of the loss.” Whoa. Is that one thing that Trey was able to grasp? He was able to consider his trials all joy because he knew he would be perfected in heaven.
Joel showed a video of a little boy who has overcome his physical handicap to make the best of what he has in his condition. My thoughts immediately darted to Trey and flashbacks swirled from hospital visits, to procedures, to chemo, to public appearances, to all-nighters being sick, then to his words, “I got this Mom.”
After I finished the sermon, I shared it on Facebook. A friend who attends Highpoint told me that when Joel was preaching he thought of our family. I told him I’m sure many did. But I want to be one who takes what God has left us and I want to make sure we are doing something with it. It does not lessen the hurt, the grieving time, or take the loss away. It gives the loss PURPOSE. So you land on PURPOSE, not loss.
So MY word for 2015 will be PURPOSE. What I do will be prayed over and it will have purpose; for me and for my family. Another thing I did after finishing the sermon was immediately listened to one of my favorite songs by Jeremy Camp, He Knows. God KNOWS our purpose. Jeremy reached out to Trey when he was ill and we had the blessing of meeting Jeremy and his wife, Adie, last December. The Holy Spirit uses him to speak volumes to me.
After all my Holiday Hell, listening to the sermon, listening to Jeremy, I decided New Year’s Eve was not going to be spent alone while Jay was at work. I invited myself to Mark and Isabelle Maxwell’s house (where Collin was) and ended up making a fun after midnight run to Taco Bell (two vehicles, a puppy, and a bunch of kids). The purpose…I made a memory in 2015…with Collin. Thank you, Joel Johnson for speaking the word of God. You spoke to this grieving mother.