Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Year End Mourning and Joy

     The holidays—Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve—follow closely upon each other sending us in a rush, making our heads spin. For many of us these days are accompanied by dreary gray with the sun on a short schedule. Too-long evenings stretch interminably, sapping energy, spontaneity, and creativity. This whole mix adds to regrets of another year passed with plans incomplete. It may even occur to us that opportunities have been wasted. We fear our most cherished hopes – perhaps for publication are once again dashed.

     In “Journey to Christmas” my chapbook of poetry of the thoughts and feelings of those involved in the first Christmas, Joseph is in this same predicament. He had spent hours, days, weeks, maybe even months preparing a home for his cherished hope - Mary. The news of her pregnancy, of which he had no part, was bitter. It seemed all was lost. All his work and preparation was a mockery. He was ready to cast it all away, forgetting that God has his own way of doing things that often sends us over the rough road, tests our inner strength, reveals our true motivations, and uncovers our weaknesses.

     If you are experiencing year-end blues, think of Joseph and how what he thought to be true was exactly the opposite of how things turned out. Within months, he found himself to be happily married and raising the Messiah. It was an unexpected culmination of many of his heart’s desires. As you compare your 2012 to Joseph’s feelings, take heart. It’s not over until God says it’s over. He’s doing a great thing in you, in his own time.

Mourning His Loss

Grief over what we’ve lost is natural even if what we’re losing has not been ours except in our dreams.
I’ve worked upon this house
Muscles straining timbers,
slapping mortar into place,
making it respectable.
Now, lamplight flickers on white walls
in a room we’ll never share
as husband and wife,
pure, sweet, Mary and I.
I cannot believe it’s true.
Was it her naïveté
or her gentle kindness
That did her in?
I only know we’re through.

This place will make someone else
A good home.
Someone who will care for it,
not tear it—and us— down,
throw away everything
for a youthful fling.
Mary. Mary. How could you?
You were like sweet honey and sunshine.
Who snuffed the light that once was you
cheering the darkness?
The dark and silent night
mocks me and each decision
I could make.
for all she’s done,
who am I to throw the first stone?
Am I so perfect? No.
But, I can’t marry her either.
I will divorce her quietly.
It is settled.
How it wearies me.
Oh, that I would never wake
to the uneasy task tomorrow brings.

Merry Christmas, ACFW friends. May Jesus live so large in your hearts that others see Him when the look at you, recognize Him when they read your writing, and be drawn to Him by the love within you.

Mary Allen is a Hoosier author and poet. She was the La Porte County Poet Laureate 2010. 

To order your e-book copy of "Journey to Christmas" go to


  1. Perfect for my today, Mary -- thanks! :-) I just posted a link to this special poetry book of yours on my Facebook. Heaps of Christmas month blessings!

    1. Thanks Millie. I appreciate the link and your words. Blessings on you.