I have a solid friend that for now, feels comfortable posting anonymously. Her writing is poetical yet raw. She is kintsugi, the Japanese art form. Enjoy.
2016 has been the starkest and most difficult of my life. I’ve felt over and over again that I was being broken. Each time I’ve picked up the pieces and offered them to Christ. Held them up to Him the way a small child lifts a bouquet to his mother.
This has been a year of glueing and breaking again. The fragments have become smaller and smaller after each crushing. But I keep lifting them up to him, even as the shards fall through my fingers and to the ground.
This Christmas season has been filled with sorrow, hope, despair, desperation and desire. This year as I put up the tree and hung the ornaments, I wept.
The decorations on our trees tell my story – my history. And this year, as I hung up the handmade trinkets (a construction paper evergreen leaf with a picture of my daughter at age 3), the engraved silver heart (Our First Christmas Together, 2002), and the antique relic (Cardboard Captain Crunch, 1988) my heart was overwhelmed at God’s consistency and faithfulnesses.
Because despite my geographical location (this year Glendale, California), my age (34), my job satisfaction (higher than ever), or my image of myself (Jessica, brave and consistent: Jessica, a coward and erratic) each year, Christmas still comes.
Even in 2016.
Even as my world and family have been decimated by trauma and trial.
Even as the landscape of my marriage has evolved to reflect the Shadow of Death. Christmas, and Christ, is still coming. He’s also/in spite of all this/in addition to/because of still here with me in this mess.
He’s with me in the merriment too- when my heart swells as I wrap a gift: but I see him more clearly when my eyes are clouded with tears and my mind is clouded with shame.
Christmas is coming, and won’t be calm or silent. Mine will be messy, full of dust and joy and shredded paper and a fractured heart.
But it will be Christmas. The lights on my tree will illuminate the faces of my children, I will drink strong coffee with eggnog in a santa cup, they will wake too early, I will smile and pretend to be not tired.
And Christ will be in that crowded space and time. His peace will hold me together, his feathers wipe my tears.
Someday, he will end the exile of my heart, Immanuel.
Soon, he will bring peace, Shalom.
One day, he will restore my marriage or rescue my soul’s covenant, and provide a love that will embrace me.
Christmas is coming in my crisis.
Hope will bandage my bruises.
The day will be here soon.
So to all of you toiling in joy and sorrow, hurts seen and unseen, hearts broken and wholly redeemed: