Thanksgiving is behind us, and Christmas is upon us. This time of year has been bitter sweet for my family since the birth of our son, Luke, on Christmas Eve of 2013. We had him for 11 days before the Lord called him home, so this time of year, as wonderful and as magical as it is, comes with heartache for us.
Last year, I suffered with sever anxiety throughout the holiday season, and it robbed me of the joy and blessings that were around me. Not only did I have panic attack upon panic attack, but my family was plagued with the flu, which exacerbated my already intense anxieties. I lost months of memories made, because I was in the throes an anxiety disorder (which I will write about in a later post).
So with Christmas quickly approaching, what do we do when our hearts are aching? First thing’s first: pray. Pray boldly for God to deliver you from your heartache. If you don’t have a journal, I would highly recommend buying one. I have prayer journals that I frequently look back on, and see how I have been delivered from various trials. When rereading through my old prayers, my faith increases because I can see how God has worked in my life. How quickly it is that we forget what God has done for us. Just look at the Israelites in the Old Testament! They were delivered from slavery in Egypt, had the Red Sea parted for them, yet they complained and forgot the miracles and blessings that were pouring forth (Exodus 14). We have what the Israelites did not have, though. We have the Bible; the living word of God. When we forget what God has done, we can go to both the Old and New Testaments and be reminded of how God does deliver His people. And with a prayer journal, we can see what God has done in our lives, and how He has parted way of the Red Seas for each of us.
Secondly, give yourself time to grieve. Whether it is the loss of a job, a marriage dissolved, finances out of control, or the death of the loved one, we need time to grieve. Healing does not come from pushing the hurt away. It comes only through Jesus. We are allowed to mourn the loss (whatever it may be), however we do not have to set up camp there. When we wallow in our grief, we get lost in it. Instead, we need to be victorious in our sufferings and allow God to bring fruition to us from it. You might be in the middle of a very dark time, and you may be reading this and saying to yourself, this is impossible. Oh, sweet friend, I know that feeling all to well. However, I also know that with God, ALL things ARE possible (Matthew 19:26).
Lastly, if you are unable to find peace with the hurt, I would highly recommend finding a Christian counselor who can help you through the process, all the while pointing you to the cross. Because, the cross is where the healing begins, and the cross is where the pain, the sadness, the anxiety, the anger, the darkness, and so on, ends. If you need assistance finding a Christian counselor in your area, let me know. I will do whatever I can to help you find one!
Additionally, reach out to the elders in your church. There is a very good chance that there is someone who has been through whatever it is you may be going through. God places people in our lives for reasons we will never understand, until one day when it all makes sense.
The holidays don’t have to hurt.
You have the choice to rejoice. Choose joy!
Please let me know how I can pray for you.