A friend and I manage to find a quiet corner in the middle of a holiday celebration. We share a quick hug and then I ask about a recent loss in her life. She shrugs her shoulders then leans in to whisper a confession: “It’s supposed to be ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’ But it’s just not for me.”
I think back to the many Thanksgivings and Christmases that have felt the same in my life. My husband and I struggled with infertility for about a decade before God led us to our adopted daughter. The holidays seemed to highlight our hurt. As a counselor facilitating grief support groups and working with individual clients, I often heard similar thoughts. And even without major difficulties in our lives, we can still be overwhelmed by extra-busy schedules, family tensions or endless to-do lists.
So let’s all get honest for a minute and admit while there’s a lot to thank God for and rejoice about, we also live in a fallen, broken world. Jesus understands that because it’s the one He came to on our behalf. Once we admit we’re not “fine” then we can breathe a sigh of relief, remember we’re all in this together, and start making a plan that will help us when the holidays are hard (mine will include pie).
The host of the party gathers us around a table piled high with evidence of God’s goodness and abundance. We’re each asked to share a blessing in our lives. When it’s my friend’s turn she says, “I’m grateful God loves me even when I’m a mess.” Now that’s a truth worth celebrating. We don’t have to hold it together during the holidays this year because we serve a God who holds us close to His heart.
More for You
Today on More than Small Talk, we asked What is purpose, really? And how do we find it? The answer might be closer than you think, more ordinary than you might have believed, and a gift to receive rather than something to pursue. Listen in!
Need a little extra encouragement this season? I wrote What Your Heart Needs for the Hard Days and What Your Soul Needs for Stressful Times with you in mind.