I wish I could just hop on here and offer you a beautiful Christmas craft today and be a lifestyle blogger and go on our merry way with the fabulous lives we all lead.

But the fact remains . . . that just ain’t where I am right now.

I’m in a season of profound loss. In the past year, I’ve lost a beloved stepfather who made my equally beloved mother be filled with joy and peace for the first time in a long time.

And while it’s not even remotely on the same scale, we had to release my sweet soul-sister of a dog, Sassy, two weeks ago. The one we rescued after Ellie died. The ragamuffin with a patchwork heart and whose checkered past made me love her all the more because man . . . did she just get me. Two lost little souls whose paths crossed to bring love and comfort.

Today was another day of profound loss. I cannot yet share details but just know it was rough. As the situation unfolds, I will be able to share more.

Loss is hard. Grief is hard. Life is . . . well, hard as shit.

And yes. I said shit.

I am now 46 years old and looking at the other half of my life and feeling, like so many in my boat, like maybe I know nothing. Sadly, I’ve lived the last four decades thinking I might know something. But now, I realize there is so little I actually, truly, really do.

It is December and the holidays are in full-swing and we are all supposed to be holy and happy and whole. But today, I just feel doubting and sad and in about a million little pieces.

In my most recent book, I discuss how our deconstruction leads to our renovation. I know this to be true. While there is so much I am unsure of, this remains a steadfast truth I will take to my grave. While we can’t ever see this in the midst of our own suffering, I can’t deny the fact that every person in my life who I hold dear, who are my people and who are safe souls who won’t judge me or turn their backs on me when I suggest questions of doubt, have walked through profound suffering and lived to tell about it. Still waters run deep. If you don’t have deep crevices, I’m not sure I can understand. I will love you. I will bless you. I will wish only good for you. But if you, like Sassy, do not have at least a little bit of a ragamuffin of a past, we may not understand each other.

So while we anticipate the birth of a Savior I still hold dear, I also know this is a season of such sadness for so many. “I just try to get through it,” said a friend of mine recently who has walked through the fire as of late. And deep in the recesses of my soul, I relate on so many levels and understand that we are not the only two to feel the same.

There is other suffering I’ve walked over the past few years that I cannot discuss at the moment but know this: pain is pain is pain. My pain is no deeper or greater than yours and vice versa.

I will not try to wrap it up in a big red bow. I will not give the canned, Christian answers anymore. I will not try to make you feel better because I feel more comfortable when you smile.

What those of us who are walking through hardship right now need the very most is knowing you are there. Heck, it’s so much better to say “I don’t know what to say but I’m here” than give a trite answer that will just make us feel worse.

Because at this point in my life, there is one thing I do know: Jesus lived in authentic relationship with people who were suffering. He sought them out. He invited them to dinner. He loved them for who they were at precisely that moment right then.

Acceptance is a form of love. Grace is a bigger form of love. And presence communicates both.

So while I don’t know what will unravel in the coming years, I do know that I will still love a good pinot noir and crevice-filled conversation with those who have walked the hard path of suffering and have been reconstructed – only to be deconstructed and reconstructed yet again. Because our reconstruction is not a one-and-done thing. It’s a process.

And we’ll keep walking.