As I sat waiting for the start of my son’s college basketball game, where he is a manager for the team, unwelcome tears sprang to my eyes.

Nothing had happened that day to prompt this emotional outbreak. As I sat in the stadium alone, a rush of emotions took over.

I thought about how my late husband would have been so proud of the young man our son had become. And then my mind traveled back to all the events, decisions and milestones he had missed with us.

In the noise of the game’s beginning activities, I sat missing him.

Even after many years, grief can surface without a moment’s notice. And especially around the holiday season.

Have you experienced this uninvited emotion? How are we to maneuver through it?

Two things come to mind. 1) Find things to be grateful for and 2) Focus on Jesus, who is always by our side.


Be grateful

In big things or in small, remember the people, the events, and the circumstances that have blessed and encouraged you. Remember your loved ones in Heaven and reflect on what they meant to you while they were here on earth. Journaling your thoughts can be a source of comfort and give perspective.

The Bible has much to say about gratitude. Here are just a few verses pointing us to praise and thanksgiving.

Giving thanks takes the focus off us and gives us room to focus on Jesus.


Focus on Jesus

  • In our sadness,
  • In our heartaches,
  • In our battles,
  • In our restlessness,
  • In our moments of decision,
  • In our skepticism and suspicion,
  • In our moments of disobedience, and
  • When we are faithful and when we’re not,

Our sovereign Lord is there.


Surrounded by God’s presence

No one physically sat beside me at that game. In fact, the crowd was sparse the day before a holiday. The emotional moment of sadness passed. I don’t know why they pop up like they do, but one thing I know.

My God’s presence surrounds me no matter where I am or what happens in my day, in my week or in my life. We can place confidence and assurance in God who is near.

How have you seen God in a particular season in your life, and felt His presence? Share it with someone today. Your experience might encourage someone else and be just the thing to get them through their day.

You made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures in your right hand. Psalm 16:11



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