Handling Christmas After Divorce

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mom with kids by Christmas tree
(© LuminaStock iStockPhoto.com)
 
I know I’m probably not sufficiently portraying the level of chaos in those few moments, but I figure you can catch the “feel” of the house regardless of my poor description. Everyone going in different directions, lots of emotions, and dad waiting in the driveway.
 
I just wish I could keep calm, cool and collected. But I got annoyed with my youngest pulling all her hair clippies out. I was frustrated that the few things I’d asked my middle son and high school daughter to do had not been done. I was disappointed that my daughter went to do her hair and watch Netflix in her bedroom instead of staying downstairs with us, and she still wasn’t ready! I was a little miffed that my ex-husband was late and that meant the girls had missed half of the school event. I was just a hot mess.
 
And I didn’t hide it. I oozed hot mess on everyone.
 
I don’t want to send my kids off with fussiness. I hate that!
 
It isn’t always this way, but it is more often than I want, to be sure. 
 
I just don’t know what exactly it is except that maybe it’s simply that I hate being divorced. I hate sharing my children.
 
I miss evenings together. I miss looking forward to my husband arriving home from work. I miss family dinners and bedtimes together. I miss going together to their school events and concerts. I miss celebrating birthdays and holidays together. I miss so many things.
 
I hate that my children’s father isn’t here to decorate the tree with them. To hold our youngest up to put ornaments on the highest branches. To sip hot cocoa and eat cookies. I miss Christmas shopping together for our children. I miss Christmas Eve services and Christmas morning together. I miss hosting a Christmas party together. I miss caroling. I miss it all. All the togetherness.
 
Maybe the nights when he arrives in the driveway, it’s just a reminder of all those things that are now gone. And maybe we all get a little wonky because it just isn’t right. The whole thing is just awfully wrong. Children aren’t supposed to have to go back and forth between parents. They are supposed to be with both of us!
 
I’m so grieved just thinking about it.
 
And yet here I sit, all pitiful and sad, looking at our beautiful tree and decorations, and I’m struck by how truly blessed I am. Who every said life was going to be perfect—or even close to perfect? Nobody.
 
It might just be that there will always be a little touch of sadness to everything, even the joyful things. And maybe that is also just life on earth; this world is not our home.
 
This world. Hmm. that makes me think about Christ coming here, leaving perfection to come to this sinful, sorrowful place. How He became a man of many sorrows, acquainted with grief (Is. 53:3) for us.
 
"Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteem him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed" (Is. 53:4-5).
 
It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by this life, isn’t it? To focus on all the things that are amiss. I can so easily get caught up in the things that aren’t going my way, and I can stay there for quite a while.  But we have a great Savior who wants to walk this life with us—who wants to carry our burdens.

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