Dec 8, 2016

Caring for Those Struggling Through The Holidays

It might be hard to believe but not everyone is looking forward to the holidays.

Not everyone is surrounded by large, wonderful, happy families. Some have families that have been broken apart by disagreements, divorce, or a prodigal child.

Some are still on talking terms but the tension that arises at family get-togethers creates anxiety and disappointment.

Some have other serious problems or financial restraints, others are overcome with great sadness as they remember the loved ones who are no longer with them.

For many, this is their first Christmas without their loved one and their pain is new and raw.

Some have been overcome by incredible health challenges, physical pain, or disease and they can't even enjoy one day without the reminders that their body is failing them.

During a season where joy and peace are expected; love stories play on tv movies and homes are supposed to be filled with happy memory making activities, beautiful smells of Christmas cookies and spiced apple cider, we need to be reminded that this is not reality for many.

While our lives, health or home may not reflect the beauty we think everyone else has, we can still find hope and peace this Christmas as we remember the true gift, Jesus Christ.

If you're having a difficult time this year, you may have to find new ways to experience joy.

If you're hurting or sick right now, in need of encouragement or healing, you might find comfort inside the doors of a candle-lit church service or by inviting a cherished friend over for a potluck meal.

If you're physically capable, your grace moment might be when you serve others who are hurting or needy.

If you're entirely overcome by grief and you are all alone there are places you could go in your community to surround yourself with others who also need friendship, kindness, and a Christmas smile.

Your pain might be new and you may not want to be around others this year. You need to know that you are never truly alone.

You should know it's normal to feel this way, it's normal to not want to celebrate Christmas or be around others or even to be happy. It's ok, really.

You could spend this year remembering and honoring a lost loved one, creating new memories or doing things that you once did with them. Maybe find a grief support group or a few understanding friends who will remember your loved one and let you talk and cry.

If your health is what is consuming you, I know from experience that it's hard to celebrate when you're body is writhing in pain. Limit your pre-holiday activities so that whatever energy you do you have can be used to enjoy the holiday itself.

For those of us who have a family, friends, and our health, even if it's not the greatest, we need to be mindful of those precious people all around us who are deeply hurting and in need of grace, love, and understanding.

Let's take time this Christmas season to look around us with compassionate eyes, to find those who need to be comforted and let's comfort them.

Find those who are lonely and share your time and friendship with them. Find those who are sick and visit them. Find those who have lost loved ones and let them speak about them because they mattered.

Let's find those who need the hope of a Savior and share the truest gift of all, the Gospel of Salvation.

1 comment:

  1. Amen! Thanks for focusing on those for whom it's not a jolly time, Tricia.


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