About the Author

Kristen Strong, author of Back Roads to Belonging and Girl Meets Change, writes as a friend offering meaningful encouragement for each season of life so you can see it with hope instead of worry. She and her US Air Force veteran husband, David, have three children and live in Colorado...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at DaySpring.com
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. My father went to heaven four days before Christ came down to earth on Christmas Day. I agree with Kristen that there can be light and darkness during the same season. There can be joy and sorrow, even during the same breath. And most of all I agree that someday every negative will be made positive!

    Thank you Kristin for your words of encouragement.

    • Lisa,

      Prayers that you can feel Christ’s loving arms holding you. May you have peace & comfort during these long winter days. Here is a poem one of my RN co workers would hand out to families. I pray this gives you much comfort & peace.

      Safely Home
      I am home in Heaven, dear ones;
      Oh, so happy and so bright!
      There is perfect joy and beauty
      In this everlasting light.

      All the pain and grief is over,
      Every restless tossing passed;
      I am now at peace forever,
      Safely home in Heaven at last.

      Did you wonder I so calmly
      Trod the valley of the shade?
      Oh! but Jesus’ arm to lean on,
      Could I have one doubt or dread?

      Then you must not grieve so sorely,
      For I love you dearly still;
      Try to look beyond earth’s shadows,
      Pray to trust our Father’s Will.

      There is work still waiting for you,
      So you must not idly stand;
      Do it now, while life remaineth–
      You shall rest in Jesus’ land.

      When that work is all completed,
      He will gently call you Home;
      Oh, the rapture of that meeting,
      Oh, the joy to see you come!

  2. I lost my beloved parents four months apart and two brothers after that in the space of a few years. I still miss them like it was yesterday, although it has been years. I have lost almost that whole generation that came before mine. It weakened me and yet today, I realized how loss and sadness has strengthened me. There is sadness in missing them, but there is joy in the memories and that I had them in my life as long as I did. And I praise my God, that death is not a final darkness, as I know there Lights are shining out for me to guide me home, to Heaven, and we will never see or feel darkness again. God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all. Beautiful and heart warming words of comfort from your post this morning. Thank you!

    • Kathy, I’m so sorry for your loss…that’s a tremendous loss in such a short amount of time. Yet your comment here is golden light in the darkness for others, like you and me, who’ve experienced the same. The loss weakens, but it (and the sadness) strengthens, too. I’ll be thinking about your wise words here for some time~thank you. xo

  3. Thank you Kristen. Your words brought back so many memories. My father would have turned 80 Jan 20th. He passed yrs ago.
    13 months after my sister. Both were sick with cancer. He was so sad to loose his daughter. I think he gave his illness and sadness to God. Even though he was private about his faith, when needed, he shared.
    I too am happy they are no longer suffering in heaven.

    “Comfort, comfort my people”, says your God
    Isaiah 40:1

    • Janet, I’m so sorry for your loss~your dad (and your sister, too) sound like marvelous souls. Thank you for sharing your comfort here with us today. Much love.

  4. Thank you! I’m a sunshine loving gal and this gloomy January has been tough since I’m also grieving the unexpected death of a dear friend the week of Christmas. Yesterday, I was sitting reading my Bible when all the sudden sun burst through the gloom and its warm glow hit my face. I had to laugh with joy at God’s timing and ability to penetrate the gloom. So your writing reminded of God’s light.

    • Thank you so much for sharing this, Sharon. I’m so sorry for your loss, and at the same time I’m thankful for God’s way of showing you that He sees you. In our heart of hearts, may we all know the same. xo

  5. I like the way you picture your dad singing with his favorite country singer. Now I can picture my husband playing guitar and singing or playing classical guitar up there with the angels.

  6. I had to put a visual to your beautiful story.

    Check out the painting, “Adoration of the Shepherds” by Gerard van Honthorst

    Let’s the angels rejoice!

  7. Your post helped me finally understand why I’ve hated January these past several years. It’s cold. It’s gloomy and snowy/rainy. And I lost both of my grandparents in January, almost on the same day, though 11 years apart.

  8. Kristen,

    We must remember that Jesus (light of the world) is always with us. He walks with us through dark valleys. Matthew West has a song out “Happy Day After Christmas”. It talks about the light of the world still being here.

    Here comes the letdown Christmas is over Here comes the meltdown, there goes the cheer But before we have a breakdown, let us remember The light of the world is still here Happy day after Christmas And merry rest of the year Even when Christmas is over The light of the world is still here.

    Blessings 🙂