A man just lost his wife to cancer.

The kids won’t be coming home for Christmas.

A young couple has the baby room ready, but the crib will be empty this year.

A friend’s world has been rocked in being served divorce papers.

Money is tight and it appears there won’t be much of a Christmas under the tree this year.

The holidays aren’t happy for everyone.

But you probably already know this. You see people in your life who are struggling, and who are just trying to make it through each day. You know of some who have lost loved ones this year and this will be their first Christmas without them. There’s those in our lives who’ve not yet held the baby they yearn for, and those whose lives seem to be crumbling into a million pieces. There’s also friends who have lost jobs, lost children, and lost their purpose in life.

And, quite possibly any of these may describe you and me.

When life is hard, the holidays can be harder.

 

When life is hard, the holidays can be harder.

There’s added pressure during the holidays. Pressure that prompts us to put on a happy face even when we’re not. Pressure to spend even if we don’t have the means to. And, what may be the biggest pressure of all, to attempt to measure up to society’s standards and others’ expectations during the holiday season.

Loneliness and depression are common during this time of year. We begin to wonder what’s wrong with us when others embrace this season and we just want it to be over.

Ten years ago I was right there. It was the hardest holiday season I had ever experienced. I couldn’t wait for it to be over. My mother had just died, nine days before Christmas. It was all I could do to just survive. (I’ll share more about grieving during the holidays soon.)

Are the holidays hard for you this year?

I’m sorry if this season isn’t the happiest for you. I may not have the perfect words, nor do I know your situation. But, what I do know is this: God sees you, He knows what you’re going through, and He cares. He cares about you  and what you care about, and He loves you more than you and I can comprehend.

Turn to Him in your sorrow, your loneliness, your grief. Talk to him about your situation and how you’re feeling. Ask Him to encourage your heart and to fill you with His peace. And, to help you see this season from His perspective.

God is good at meeting us right where we are.

Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders— he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out. He’ll never let good people topple into ruin. Psalm 55:22 MSG

Since God cares for you, let Him carry all your burdens and worries. 1 Peter 5:7 VOICE

We aren’t left without hope if the holidays are hard this year.

If you’re one whose holidays aren’t hard, I encourage you to come alongside of another who may be struggling and who may just need a friend.

Blessings!

Julie

 

 

This post was adapted from its original version from the series Rediscovering Christmas.

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