This time of year the days are short and darkness closes in early. I always find it depressing how dark it is by 5:00 pm. It dampens my mood. During the Advent season, I love seeing all the Christmas lights. They light up our neighborhood and lift my spirit. I remember that first year of the pandemic, people began decorating and putting up their lights much earlier. It was a way to bring light and joy during a time that was difficult and bleak.
Recently, my friend Luisa, shared the following story during her Christmas music concert. The concert was entitled, “Carriers of Light.”
As many of you know, my husband, Jarrett, and I walked our first three children to Heaven. Our first two children were twin boys born prematurely. Joseph passed away 15 minutes after birth and Matthew lived 6 days in the NICU. Days later, we gathered at our church for their funeral. I didn’t know such deep sorrow until I was touched by the death of my children. At the same time, I also didn’t know in such a profound and even tangible way, the immensity and gentleness of God’s love until we lost our first two sons.
God’s Light. Like fire, it shines brightly in the darkness, it warms a place that’s cold, it brings hope and calm to the weary, it gathers people together and it soothes the soul.
The day of the funeral, I woke up and I gave my heart to Jesus. With Jarrett, through the guidance of a close priest friend, we promised to live fully all the waves of sorrow knowing that Jesus was there weeping and remembering with us. And though it wasn’t Christmas, this was the moment that day when in the depths of our sorrow we said yes to carry His light.
Upon arriving at church, we were immediately surrounded by genuine, warm, true love. Our hearts were light because God in His mercy had allowed for others to partake in our sorrow and carry us gently. Young and old, we were there, a full Church celebrating Mass and giving thanks to God for the lives of our children and offering their souls up to Heaven. I never would have expected it, but my heart, right in the midst of sorrow, was the fullest it has ever been. It was filled with the purest of joys.
I keep that day so close to my heart for many reasons, but one of them is because it was that day in which God gave us the gift to walk on holy ground. Right here, on this side of eternity. His light truly shone, and we felt it physically through so many people who surrounded us with true love. It was His light that carried us through that dark sorrow.
It is a beautiful mystery. I share it humbly with you as a sign for you to know that “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”
My prayer for each one of you is that during this Advent season you actively seek to make room for Jesus in your heart. May He be your gift this Christmas.
*You can read more about Luisa and Jarrett’s story here.
Luisa and Jarrett physically felt God’s immense love through the people who cared and loved them. When you are going through challenging times, do you recognize God’s presence and His love through the acts of love you receive from others?
Who in your life is a carrier of God’s light? Have you ever mentioned it to them?
Spend some time with God in prayer. Ask God to open your heart to His grace and mercy so you can be a carrier of God's light to others. Listen. Where is God calling you to share His love?
About the Author
Darcie Tallman is a child of God, a daughter of loving parents, a wife to an amazing husband and a mom to four precious souls. She has a passion for prayer, photography and being surrounded by God's beauty. With God's help and guidance, she created Sacred Beauty Prayer Cards, a prayer resource that incorporates photography, Scripture and storytelling.