Christmas was different this year. In fact, it’ll never be the same since my daughter Lindsay passed away in August. Her seat will always be empty.

Somehow my husband James, my son Josh, and I managed to get through Thanksgiving with the help of my mom and sister Trish who came to share it with us. Trish challenged Josh and me to run a 5K in Lindsay’s memory, and we did.

Building new traditions is important to deal with grief during the holidays. @Laura_Poole Click To Tweet

If the holidays have been really tough on you this year I want to offer a word of encouragement.  If you are grieving the loss of a loved one or maybe just a closed chapter in your life — something you feel like you can’t get back then lean on our Savior Jesus.

Jesus felt a lot of the same sorrow we do. John 11:32-36 tells us He wept when He discovered his friend Lazarus was dead. He knew he could raise him from the dead, but He experienced the same sorrow we feel, and I’m sure it was a blessing to those around Him just as it is to us now.

I encourage you not to focus on the loss, but to keep your eyes focused on Christ and the reason for the season. It’s to celebrate the joy of His birth and we can still do that even with grieving hearts.

We can still celebrate the joy of Christmas even with grieving hearts. @Laura_Poole Click To Tweet

Pick up your bible and get lost in the word and let Christ’s words bring you comfort. The peace that Jesus promises us in the midst of this world’s turmoil is real. I’ve endured it.

Surround yourself with friends and family who love you, and just realize there is no right or wrong way to grieve. It’s also okay to be alone for a while and experience the peace in the stillness of resting with God.

The new year will be filled with building more “new” traditions and facing birthdays and holidays once again without our loved ones. We will experience more times with empty seats, but the Lord is always with us. As we walk through this difficult valley, know that I’m praying for you.

Jesus said “Never will I leave you, nor will I forsake you.”

What a blessing to cling to as we enter into 2017.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse that’s helped you walk through grief? I’d love to hear it in the comments.


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About Laura Hodges Poole

Laura Hodges Poole is a Christian writer with dozens of articles, devotions, and short stories in publication. She is the author of four books and has contributed to two others, available on Amazon. She is the 2016 ACWC Badge of Honor winner, 2014 ACFW Genesis semi-finalist, and 2012 RWA Emily finalist. Laura is also a non-fiction ghostwriter/collaborator. As an editor with The Christian PEN, she loves to mentor other writers and help them polish their work. Her passion is encouraging others in their Christian walk through her blog, “A Word of Encouragement.” When she’s not writing, you might find her hiking, playing the piano, or being crafty. A mother of two, Laura lives in South Carolina with her husband. Website/blog: Email: Connect with Laura by clicking on the icons below.
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