advent reflection ~ day 10

Hail full of grace! The Lord is with you. ~Luke 1:28

The Lights Beyond

“The Lights Beyond” Kristina Lishawa Photography

After my daughter died 8 years ago, I lost a part of my heart. In the months that followed her death, people would often ask: “How are you doing?” I never knew how to answer that question because the experience of losing a child is indescribable. For me, my grief was like being locked in a tomb.

But in that cold and lifeless place, a close friend said: “Nancy, The Lord is with you, even in this dark place.” She too, had experienced the pain of grief.   Her words were like rays of light, seeping through cracks in stone.

No wonder the angel Gabriel shared these same words with Mary at the annunciation. As the mother of Jesus, she would need to remember that she was not alone. When she lost little Jesus in the temple and when she watched her son die on a cross, perhaps she recalled Gabriel’s words:

The Lord is with you….

How do these words speak to you?

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Nancy Jo Sullivan

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Nancy Jo Sullivan is an inspirational author and speaker. She has published with Random House, Guideposts, Readers Digest, and the Huffington Post. Her newest book, Small Mercies, was recently released by Loyola Press. In the book, she writes about God’s presence in motherhood, family, and love. Through poignant reflections, she recalls how she found God even in her darkest moments, especially in the months that followed the death of her daughter with Down’s syndrome. She reminds the reader that God is present in “every mess, burden, and blessing.” The mother of two grown daughters, Nancy Jo resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She loves hanging out with her daughters, teaching writing classes to kids with special needs, jogging, making spinach smoothies, and of course, writing about her imperfect life.

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