Tis the season for intensified feelings of grief, despair, and loneliness. The feelings of sadness after the loss of a loved one increases exponentially during the holidays. The memories of past holidays together can flood the mind and intensify the feelings of loss. When our lives aren’t perfect and we look around at everyone else’s seemingly perfect lives, despair sets in with feelings of inadequacy. The feelings can spin around in our minds like a tossed salad with too much dressing, “They have an intact family, they have money to go skiing, they don’t have financial problems, their kids have good grades, they have lots of friends, they have good things happening in their lives and I am just struggling.” If you are struggling with real feelings of despair and loneliness this holiday please know that you are loved, you are valuable, and you are worthwhile! You are needed and you are important! The world will not be better of without out you. Please don’t ever forget that!
Jesus didn’t come as a little babe for the people who have it all together. He came for you and me, the messed up ones. He came to bring a beacon of hope to those who are hurting. Whether you believe that or not, that is the message of Christmas. If you can’t afford a big Christmas, if your kids are struggling with school or bullies, if you are grieving or facing a significant heartache you can have a sense of hope this holiday. Tune out the commercials and cards that say you are supposed to have the picture perfect holiday and focus on the message of hope. Stick around, don’t give up, and let your feelings of sadness remind you that we all need a little help. Help showed up at Christmastime and that is what we celebrate.
“Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.” Dr. Seuss
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NIV)