“The Virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means God with us.”) Matthew 1:23
I usually start off my annual Christmas letter with the words, “Merry Christmas.” This year has not been easy and for many of us the word “merry” doesn’t seem to resonate. The words, pandemic, COVID19 and social distancing are words that sound like nails on a chalkboard to me. I wonder if they do for you as well. But for me, even beyond all of that, 2020 has not been a good year.
On May 28th, I lost the love of my life, my husband, best friend, and partner of 26 years. The one who made all the above more bearable because we were together, we had each other. Eric was killed on the job as he was driving through Virginia in the middle of the night, in the rain, on a very dark highway. Another tractor trailer at some point ahead of him had hit the guardrail and jackknifed across the road. There were no visible lights and by the time Eric was able to see him, he did not have enough time to slow his tractor, pulling two trailers behind, to avoid crashing. Thankfully, he was able to warn his co-driver, who was asleep in the bunk, to brace himself and I believe saved his life, even as he lost his own instantly.
As the pastor said at his memorial service, “Eric met Jesus in Roanoke, Texas and he came face-to-face with him in Roanoke, Virginia.” I believe that with all of my heart.
There is nothing that prepares you for a shock like this. I have come to learn that grief knows only one way. You must go through it, you can’t go around it, there’s no avoiding it and it is hard.
Here is the truth, the one truth that keeps me going now: Immanuel – God with us. God is with me, God is with you. He helps us when we embrace Him, and He has been faithful to me in this very tough time.
If you’re not feeling merry this year, it’s OK because of Immanuel, God with us. You can still have hope for better days, for better years. Just keep your eyes on the Only One who has it all in His Mighty Hands and will carry you through as you place your trust in Him. That is most certainly what I am trying to do.
In His love…Nancy