I have several friends who have lost loved ones over the past few months. With Christmas just a few days away, they’re wondering what this Christmas will be like without their loved one. I understand their feelings – my mom went home to be with the Lord on December 19 two years ago. My aunt (her sister) died a few hours later. We had two funerals a day apart just a few days before Christmas.

Yes, it was a different kind of Christmas. We missed our loved ones greatly. But, that Christmas was special as we gathered together with family and reflected on our loved ones’ lives and the impact they made.

I found myself wondering what mom was experiencing as she spent Christmas face to face with her Savior. I imagined her singing Christmas carols for the first time in years (she had lost her ability to speak and hear). And she was most likely bowing before Jesus, telling Him how thankful she is for His coming, His birth, His death, His resurrection.

As much as we missed her, we knew she was where she longed to be. We were happy for her, even in the midst of our grief.

Some of you have lost loved ones this year, and you’re unsure of how you’re going to experience this Christmas without them. For some, you’re thankful they’re no longer suffering. But for others, you’re struggling with understanding why God took your loved one in the prime of their life. And for some, you’re not sure of the spiritual state of your loved one when they passed away, and that makes it even more difficult.

Christmas without those we love is hard. But we can still celebrate Christmas as we reflect on the significance of the birth of Christ over 2000 years ago. Without His coming, we’d have no hope for life after death – a life far greater than anything we’ve experienced on this earth.

Regardless of what we may be going through this Christmas – health issues, loss of a loved one, financial struggles, marital issues, loneliness – God knows and understands what we’re feeling. As we celebrate Christmas and the birth of our Savior, let us give thanks for His coming and the life He promises those who put their faith in Him.

Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel – God is with us.” Isaiah 7:14

Because He came to this earth as a baby born in a manger, we are never alone, no matter what our life circumstances are. Immanuel – God is with us.

I want to share this video of Ellie Holcomb singing Hope is Alive – a great reminder that He knows what’s going on in our lives today, and He is with us through every step.

Merry Christmas to all!