Then I think about the 27 families in Newtown, CT who faced their own sudden and horrific tragedies at Christmas time. When set against the backdrop of the Christmas season with its gifts, festivities, and cheer, tragedies like these seem so incongruous and even more unsettling. We all look up to God and ask, "Why?"
But the truth is that tragedy happens to all of us, and it really does not matter that it happened at Christmas. Any tragedy that is still fresh and wounding seems more painful at Christmas. It is one more dream that we realize has been shattered forever. The dream of another Christmas with those we love and the memories we had hoped to create and cherish with them.
I am many years down the road from the tragedies that took my daughters. Many Christmases have come and gone. I can tell you from this perspective that I have shared some happy Christmases since then. New lives through adoptions, marriages and births have enlarged our family; and with them, we have created new memories. Most importantly, God has led my husband and I every step of the way. In our journey of dependence on God, we have learned so much more about His wondrous love and the peace and quiet joy that comes from relying on His strength. Were it not for our hope in Jesus Christ, our hearts would have surely broken. It is true that the peace that is beyond understanding is not freedom from the storm, but the peace that comes from God amid the storm and the true and certain knowledge that although we parted in sorrow, we shall meet again in joy.