It’s Okay to Not Be Okay, Even at the Holidays

It's okay to not be okay, even at the holidays.

 {my graphics are free goodies for you}

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.

Holley Gerth


free ebook from Holley GerthThis post is part of a series based on my exclusive, limited-time only ebook, Hope for the Holidays. You’ll get it free when you order Hope Your Heart Needs: 52 Encouraging Reminders of How God Cares for You, a little devotional that’s big on encouragement and perfect for Christmas gifts. Get all the details about the free ebook here.


You’re invited to join the “Let’s Have Coffee” link-up! Simply write a post that has the kind of encouragement you’d share with a friend over coffee (the link-up goes live at 5:30am CT every Wednesday, and you can view the Link-Up Guidelines here). Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to to see all the fun and join in too.

After you link-up your post, take a moment to leave an encouraging comment on the one that’s linked just before yours. Thanks, friends!

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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