“And when I get stuck in Morgantown, what do we do then? Hypothetical?"

The text came through at 6:36 am on Friday. 

Our middle daughter, Wesley, is still at college. 

She's there finishing an internship in Pittsburgh but plans to come home late this weekend. 

I reread her text. Then I decided to call, which of course, turned into FaceTime.

Together, we listened to the weather. 

"I'm going to be honest, there's very little chance of you getting there if you're trying to make it anywhere by Christmas."

The anchor man's voice filled the space in Wesley's typically lively but now subdued apartment. Was he kidding? And, when the weather girl came back on, did she need to reiterate the terrible news that it was pretty windy outside? 

Wesley turned the camera around. 

She wanted me to see what it looked like and opened the window. Snow dusted the parking lot; the visibility was poor. The skies were a gunmetal gray. 

Then, she flipped the camera and showed me the weather graphic on TV. 

It was bright red with swirly arrows, a weather image my Southern eyes had not seen. 

And even though my heart dropped, hope flickered. 

Maybe she can still make her flight? 

Parents, do you feel this, too?

That dull ache right before the holidays?

That longing for your kids to be home, safe in your nest, even if it's only for a few days?

Even if we're proud of them for living their life and doing what they do, we also long for them to be there, don't we? And, most especially at Christmas? 

Wesley's voice pulled me back to reality. I'd scanned flights while the darned weather people droned on. 

"Mommmm. Are you not paying attention to the weather?"

"No." 

I turned back to my screen and typed in Pittsburgh weather. 

A rare bomb cyclone.

So that's what's hitting the northern United States right now? 

Awesome. 

Alabama's on the receiving end of frigid temps but not the snow that's piling up across the country. 

Nor the wind that's relentlessly whipping through the plains. And certainly not the snow that will cause many people delays. 

"Oh. Now. I see." 

Then she said, "I'll just drive. See. I didn't really tell you and dad about the weather when I had to drive to Wheeling for that internship. Let's just say, I've driven through my share of blizzards."

Whether it's a blizzard that threatens to separate you from your loved one and the hope of a quick reunion fades.

Or, it's something else entirely. 

Maybe it's not weather related. 

Maybe it's a broken relationship that no Christmas gift can fix. 

Maybe it's illness or injury? 

Or perhaps, even death? 

And Christmas, this year, hurts. 

I'm thinking of a friend who died recently. 

Jesus beamed out of her. She radiated love and concern. She was a breathtaking beauty and talented, almost beyond comprehension. 

And she's gone. 

To be with her earthly Father and other beloved family members.

She has received her heavenly reward. 

Some of you are there right now. 

And you know that pain. 

Some of you long for healing. 

Some of you long for home. 

Or simply for your kids to join you there. 

It’s hope, isn’t it? That’s what lingers when our circumstances have gone south. 

But it’s not ordinary hope, placed in stuff, or things, or experiences. 

No. 

For the believer, our hope is placed in a person, born on December 25, over 2,000 years ago.

Our hope is in Jesus Christ, who was born in a dank stable and placed in a cold stone feeding trough. 

A hope that entered the earth, as the beautiful and ancient creed states, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontious Pilate. He was crucified, dead, and buried, was risen, and is coming again.

In Him, no matter your longing, or who you might desperately miss, there is always hope. And this Christmas, that is good news, indeed. 

"And hope does not disappoint us, because God poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly." - Romans 5:5

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” - I Peter 1:3

Amie Beth Shaver is a speaker, writer and media commentator. Her column appears every Wednesday in 1819 News. Shaver served on the Alabama GOP State Executive Committee, was a candidate for State House District 43 and spokeswoman for Allied Women.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected].