2014 has been a year of incredible joy for our family and those we love. Babies being brought into the world, more on the way, weddings, and wonderfully magical memories. But inexpressible sadness and heartbreak has certainly been no stranger to our circle of loved ones. While in many cases my pain could not even hold a candle to those more directly affected, I have had moments this year that I honestly didn’t know if my heart could hold any more sadness. The trials that we have watched those we dearly care for face are simply unimaginable. Yet their faith and courage to go on has been inspiring and amazing.
My heart has been heavy this week with news of yet another loss to a sweet friend of mine. Tears fell as I read the obituary and thought of his amazing wife of so many years left behind. Their pure example of love and dedication to each other and their family will forever be in my heart.
I’ve been thinking about Jesus bringing Lazarus back to life. Even though he knew he could heal Lazarus and bring him back from the dead after four days, when he saw Mary’s pain and sadness and that of the crowd, He wept (John 11). He knew, yet he grieved with them. Jesus wept! Why would he if he knew in just a few minutes he would call Lazarus back from the bonds of death and the sadness would be turned to joy? I believe that Jesus knows our pain. He not only knows, but he’s felt it for each one of us. He intimately knows our sadness and grief and, because he loves us, he feels it too. And I believe he’s right there to carry us when we can no longer go on. I believe Jesus paved the way so that we might live once more. Death is not the end.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
I believe that families are not just something for now, but forever. Our associations and those we love does not end with death. We can be together again.
“…we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny. The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions–temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting…” –Dieter F. Uchtdorf
This Christmas season I believe more than ever before that Jesus Christ was born to this earth for a purpose. He is the Saviour of the World. I believe that because He loves us, he not only suffered for our sins, but also for our grief and pain. He knows each of us so personally, so intimately. I believe he can help us through even the most trying of times. I’ve witnessed it time and time again this year. He can mend broken hearts and give hope where none is left. I believe.
I’m so thankful for this Christmas and the reminder of Him. It is through Him I’ve seen others carried as they have experienced pain and grief so great only He could comprehend. it is through Him that we can once more be with those we love who have passed on. The greatest gift of all.