“So it’s been a long year
Every new day brings one more tear
Till there’s nothing left to cry”
(Darlin’ Christmas is Coming, Over the Rhine)
A couple of weeks ago, I downloaded Over the Rhine’s Christmas album, Snow Angel. It is a sad Christmas album. It was the perfect thing for me.
In many ways, it’s been a long, crazy year. I have cried until there are no more tears. There have been quite a few different things to cry about.
Silly enough, I even cried about Christmas itself. This year we were so busy that we hastily threw up our tree and then forgot about Christmas until about the 24th of December. That, in and of itself, is pretty sad to me.
So, while we rushed through one batch of sugar cookies on Christmas Eve, I pulled out the food coloring and decided to make all of the frosting blue. Chad commented on it, and I said, “I’ve decided we’re having a blue Christmas.” He liked it.
In that moment, there were no tears or pain. The surprising reality was the unmistakeable feeling of freedom and acceptance. Life is a gift and a blessing and there is so much good. Yet, at the same time, life can be painful, filled with broken dreams and deep loss. Our year has had a lot of good things, but we have also experienced suffering and deep pain.
Chad and I had a blue Christmas this year, but surprisingly enough, that was good. It’s where we are. It’s not a bad thing. Please don’t fret or worry for us. I know, it’s hard to be comfortable with pain and sadness. It’s much easier to want to fix things and for us all to truly be happy or at least to pretend that we are. But that is not life. Life is full of pain, disease, death, sadness, rejection…etc. and God is beautiful and good in the midst of this mess. I’m learning to live in that tension.
We had a blue Christmas and we are more than okay. If you had a blue Christmas, I hope you are okay, too.
Here are some lyrics from one of my favorite songs:
“Someday I’m gonna fly
This cold and broken heart of mine
Will one day wave goodbye
Goodbye to this cruel wicked world
And all the tears I’ve cried
Snow angel, snow angel
I’ll meet you in the sky.”
(Snow Angel, Over the Rhine)