Everyone dreams of having the most wonderful, pie-in-the-sky-high, beautiful, and memorable Christmas season.
The reality for many may not presently be so beautiful, memorable or wonderful though…
- some have lost a treasured loved one and are deeply missing them
- some are going through a divorce, adultery issues, or terrible marital problems
- some are experiencing intense family, in-law, or extended family conflict
- some have a spouse or a child who is incarcerated
- some are experiencing “blended” family challenges
- some are painfully estranged from a parent, child, sibling, or other important family member
- some are going through financial devastation or hardships
- some are experiencing a serious illness or the illness of a loved one…this may even be your or a family member’s projected last Christmas
- some have experienced a precious child’s death or a miscarriage
- some have a spouse, child, or family member away in the military, or who does mission work, or travels longterm for work, or lives too far away to come home
- some have a difficult or selfish family member/in-law who simply makes holidays miserable … or ungratefulness and drama puts a damper on celebrations
- some recently broke up with a fiance or important significant other
- some are going through a “prodigal” situation, deep rebellion, or addiction issues with a spouse or child
- some are going through infertility issues and desperately want a child…or are mourning an abortion or regret placing their baby for adoption
- perhaps a loved one refuses to celebrate the holidays
- some are experiencing other major grief experiences or life challenges
There are many who are hurting, so the holidays turn from being the most wonderful time of the year of great expectation into being the most dreaded time of the year of devastation.
My holiday tip today is:
Grieve the loss of not being able to enjoy the holidays how you once knew them or how you wish they could be. You are NOT selfish for missing someone or mourning the fact that holidays are a sad or disappointing time for you.
Holidays can be very challenging when life is painful or chaotic – especially after experiencing a major loss. When life knocks the breath out of you, it sometimes becomes necessary to learn how to breathe again…and that may include learning how to navigate through the holidays and life after a major loss has taken place.
You may not feel like the cheeriest elf on the block…and that’s totally okay. It takes time to experience happiness, peace, and joy after life crushes and devastates you.
Everybody has a holiday “ideal” – how we wish the holidays could be.
It doesn’t seem like it would help, but it truly brings peace as we choose to mourn the loss of holidays as we wish them to be.
As we choose to create a new holiday season that is kind to our (and our loved ones) heart, brings hope and comfort to us and our remaining loved ones, and honors our grief…and choose to lean into God’s heart…a peaceful holiday season is possible.
Even through thick grief, we truly have the ability to create meaningful holidays. They might not hold the same joy you once knew, but they can be special and meaningful once again.
But first, grieve the loss of how you wish the holidays were, as you place your heartaches, expectations, and desires of your heart into God’s hands. He genuinely cares about you and will be there for you every moment of this holiday season.
The next tips I share in my next blog post will share specific ideas on how to navigate through the holidays during times of grief, yet still create a meaningful holiday season.
Praying right now for everybody who is going through trials, challenges, conflicts, and grief. I am genuinely sorry for your heartache and pain!
May you choose to create and have a peaceful, meaningful, special holiday season filled with memorable moments.
Gratitude & blessings,
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1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships
2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays
5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5
6. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Happy New Year!: http://bible.com/r/3Zv
7. Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus
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