Joy After Loss- The Holidays


The holiday season is upon us. Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas is well on its way. Traditions of shopping and decorating, Christmas-light-seeing and family gatherings are here again.

For some of us, as mine were for many years, the holidays are full of butterflies in our belly excitement as we gather with family, good food, really fun, family traditions, snow, Christmas music…all the fun things!

For others, there is dread and hurt and pain. Possibly from broken relationships, infertility, maybe from loss of a loved one.


Tonight I took my earthly littles to drive around to see Christmas lights- I couldn’t help but remember the last time with Zekey.

I’m not going to pretend to have all the right things to say to those of you who live with an ache as we do, missing our Zekey for the first Christmas here on earth but I do want to share my heart this season.

We live in a broken world. We do and say things we shouldn’t. We get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season forgetting Who we truly are celebrating. Stress gets the best of us. Lives are taken too soon. Wars continue. There is plenty going on, for even the optimist, to eventually stop long enough to see that even with God making all things new, He is making things new for a reason- our world isn’t made right yet. Our world is fallen.

We are in need of a Savior. We need someone to set things right. We need Hope.

This is where I wade today, this season. I stand, with an ache but a Hope. I cry, face in my palms to a true and living God who gave us a Savior, Jesus. A man who left the perfect glory of Heaven, to come down as a helpless babe, poor and was sought after to be killed and eventually, out of a perfect love, died a death so that we might live. His ressurection has made my Zekey alive again. This story doesn’t end…it still continues through those who carry this gift of Jesus, as I do- this beautiful gift for all.

This Christmas season isn’t going to be a time of moping and ‘woe is me’…I sure do miss my boy. I wish he were here, healthy and enjoying the traditions we will carry through the end of our days but I will not wade there forever- because of the birth of Jesus, I will live out a hope, even if it’s through heartache because this earth, it isn’t Home. Home awaits and it will be beyond our wildest dreams, for those who have surrendered their life to Jesus. A surrender that is not a death sentence but a life sentence of freedom from striving and trying to be enough. A life sentence to live after our bodies here on earth fail us. A life sentence that will wash away the burdens and guilt we carry, as nothing we do or say nor time itself will bring complete healing.

Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal.” – David Crowder

Jesus is not a baby anymore. He is not walking among us in the flesh but through His people, His light shines brightly in the brokenness of the world. In our loss and aches, in our wrongdoings, in our mistakes and guilt, He can shine brighter and truer than the lies that you are what you’ve done or what you’ve experienced. He beautifully puts a stop to it all when He reveals His beautiful glory in redemption, forgiveness, perfect love, grace, joy, peace.

With our aches and our brokenness, we can picture ourselves kneeling at the edge of his manger. Our sobs are not too loud for baby Jesus. Our brokenness and pain are not too great. For Jesus was the Hope we needed and the Hope we need today.

This Christmas season, if we can just remember what a gift Jesus is to us, that we live with a great Hope and we have a purpose to carry out until our final breath, to share this very Hope with others. Our children, our friends, our co-workers. The hustle and bustle and stress and even excitement can fade to a much truer reason to celebrate- The gift of eternal Hope in our Savior, Jesus’ birth.

My Hope doesn’t make me a hero- it’s without Hope in Jesus, I’m sure my world would crumble for the loss of such a gift as Zekey is. I miss him greatly and cannot wait to embrace my boy again.

Merry Christmas! There is SO much to celebrate in Jesus!



  • Reply December 2, 2014


    Your posts are a blessing. I thank the Lord for using your life and your voice to proclaim the love of Christ. What a gift

    ” to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

    His fullness radiates in your post and His sovereign hand is at work in you. Praise be to God.

  • Reply December 2, 2014

    Kathy Schwanke

    You’ve such a beautiful heart full of faith.
    God bless you as you keep your eyes on Heaven, but live fully while you are here on Mission with Jesus.

    My daughter linked your post in her blog today. I’m so thankful. (thecreativejanedotcom)

  • Reply December 4, 2014

    Megan Ericson

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart Bree! Our world needs hope.

    • Reply October 14, 2016


      I have to say one thing. I absolutely love that you have pointed this whole emotional binging especially at night. BECAUSE i do it ALL THE TIME. I’m not necessarily overweight but I’m very sh8&04’1tr#o243; and weigh about 120 and if i gain 5 pounds which is sooo easy for? me to do i look like a butterball. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that you are so inspiring in the sense that you seem like you genuinely want to give good advice and tips for those who feels so fed up with this topic. Thanks!!

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