It’s not news to you that life can be difficult. I fully realize your life, like mine, has not been a bed of roses. Life can be down-right hard some days and in some seasons, right? What if it’s difficult in this season–the holiday season? What do we do then? How do we cope? I pray this encourages your heart and lightens your load some as we learn today how to cope when holidays are not happy.
I walked into Hobby Lobby the other day, and the two Salvation Army bell ringers wished me a “Merry Christmas.” Naturally, I wished them the same back. And for a moment my mind took me back to the holiday season of 2006. That year wasn’t a Merry Christmas, and my heart softened right then by the store’s doors for each person who won’t experience a “Merry Christmas” this year–for whatever reason.
You see, the holiday season of 2006 was a difficult season… maybe the most difficult of my life so far. My mom was ill in the hospital, so I spent most of my days by her side, also juggling my roles as mom and wife, business owner, and preparing what I could for Christmas that year. It was a challenge. But by her side is where I needed to be. Until God called her home on December 16, just nine days before Christmas.
What do you do with that? Christmas was (and still is) my favorite holiday, yet I knew it would never be the same again without Mom. And how in the would could I possibly make it a “Merry Christmas” for our family?
What do we do when the holidays are not happy?
How do we cope? When the rest of the world is rocking around the Christmas tree, we’re just trying to get through the next minute. When the world shows us images of the “perfect holidays,” and we’re wondering how we will purchase any sort of gifts for our kids with a lean budget this year. Or when beautiful dreams and hopes we had for the season are crushed into a million pieces and scattered all over the floor. What do we do then?
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I share the hope I hung on to that year and every year since. It has to do with Immanuel, God with us.
My heart is with you today. Even if your holidays are not happy this year, I pray God reminds you He is for you, He is with you, and He’s not going to leave you. Find your hope and strength in Him. Because of the hope you have, may Christmas mean something a little deeper this year. For God so loved the world. God is with us. Amen! God bless you.
- Joshua 1:9 NIV
- Matthew 28:20b NIV
- Matthew 1:23 NIV
- Romans 15:13 NIV
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