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 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.
I know, because I’ve been there.
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, and honestly, I wanted to, too. I’ll share more about grieving during the holidays in Tuesday’s post.
Maybe you understand all too well and the holidays are hard for you this year.
Everyone is happy but you.
Everyone has their loved ones with them but you.
Everybody is shopping and celebrating and decorating but you.
Everyone has more than enough money but you.
Everybody else is (you fill in the blank) but you.
I’m sorry if you’re feeling any of these ways. I may not have the perfect words for you, and I may not know your situation. But, what I do know is God sees you, He knows what you’re going through, and He cares. He cares about you and loves you more than you and I can comprehend.
My suggestion is to turn to Him in your sorrow, loneliness, grief, hardship, or whatever you filled in the blank above. To talk to Him about your situation. To ask Him to encourage your heart and to fill you with His peace. And, to help you see this season from His perspective.
He’ll meet you right where you are, in ways you may never expect.
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
On Monday we’ll discuss some ideas of what might help when we find the holidays are hard. They may be beneficial for you or for someone you know.
And, if you’re finding the holidays aren’t hard for you this year, I encourage you to come alongside of another who may be struggling and who may just need a friend.
We’ll continue our Rediscovering Christmas series on Monday. Click here to catch up on prior posts. Until then, may God bless you and keep you.
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