The days between Christmas and New Year’s have always felt a little off to me. The BIG DEAL holiday is over but there’s still this lesser holiday to kind of ease us on into January . . .

But who wants to move into January? Sure the days are slightly brighter now that the solstice has passed but there are still too many cold, dark days before spring. And THIS YEAR. Ugh. This year.

Will the vaccine help? Will the virus move on? Will spring bring a return to something like normalcy? Can I BURN these masks and give someone a hug?!?

This past week I’ve had my head down, quietly celebrating Christmas with my husband–calling family I’d rather see in the flesh. Talking to friends in the driveway when they drop off cookies or a thoughtful gift. Editing my story for 2021.

But tomorrow I head back to the office. And I’ll fish that mask out from behind the car seat. And I’ll get back to what passes for everyday life these days. We’ll drink sparkling wine on the 31st then eat our collard greens and black-eyed peas on the first. And I’ll do some more editing because my story–as sad as it is in places–ends the way I want it to.

And that right there is what I have to hang my hat on as my hero, Sulley, would say. The end comes out the way I want it to.

I’m world-weary right now. And if you’re not, please tell me your secret. My natural good cheer and optimism have worn as thin as tissue paper reused one Christmas too many. The whole world is cranky right now–and with good cause.

But wait. There it is, In John 16:33. Even as Jesus was telling his disciples about the sacrifice he was preparing to make, he reassured them. “In Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

As a storyteller, I’ve promised my readers a happy ending every time. And the story I’m working on now is hard. There are parts of it–the real, historical parts–that don’t have a happy ending. At least not that I can see. But as a Christian writer that’s exactly the point. I know that even when I can’t see the happy ending, I can trust that Christ has overcome the world and all the evil in it.

So while we sit in this weird, in-between time–between Christmas and New Year’s–between pre-virus and post-virus–between tribulation and peace . . . It’s okay to skip ahead and read the ending. Because the light of the world is shining . . . shining . . . shining even in this present darkness.