The holidays are supposed to be, "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!" We are told in society to "feel" certain emotions and almost trained to think if we are not joyful... then something is wrong with us? Don't get me wrong... I fully believe that Christmas is a wonderful time of the year where we can focus on the Savior's brith and God's unconditional love for mankind! It's a time well spent with family and friends over Tacky Christmas Parties and Church festivities and Christmas decorating and present shopping! It's a time where we give thanks and remember to spread joy and cheer to all those around us!
But can I be real for a moment... what happens when those expectations of the holidays that are supposed to be filled with so much joy and happiness fall short? What happens when discouragement and depression sets in? What happens when grief creeps in and overcomes your deepest thoughts? How do you find the joy of Christ in the midst of depression, grief, and self-doubt?
I think these are all normal thoughts that most Christians don't talk about during the holidays. These are important thoughts because they are real to you! There is nothing wrong with not "feeling" in a joyful mood at Christmas time if you truly just don't feel joyful. In fact, maybe I should even go further to say that you NEED to feel those real emotions and deal with them and process them... because maybe you haven't dealt with them in a long time. Maybe... just maybe... you need to feel sad and ugly cry and feel the rawness of your emotions. So, this Holiday season... I give you the permission to feel sad and you can even cry if you feel that you need to let it out. Yes, I'm actually encouraging you to do it!!
But, we can't stop there... let's get to the root of these raw emotions. Where is this sadness coming from? Why is it that you are having more bad days than good? Why do the days seem more gloomy than cheerful? I encourage you to get a journal out and draw a face that expresses your current emotion -- sad, doubtful, scared, tearful, angry, happy, excited, loving, joyful, silly, etc. Writing can be very therapeutic because it helps you process your thoughts as you are writing it down on paper. You are taking time to write it all out and process it and reflect upon those raw emotions.
When you let out your emotions, the tears are your reminder that you are human and it's okay to feel those emotions... it's perfectly fine to have tears of joy in happy moments.... and tears of grief in sad moments... allow yourself to truly be present in those moments.
Today take time to get
[alone with God]
so that you can
What has been troubling you?
How has that been making you feel?
How is it affecting you?
How is it affecting the relationships of those closest to you? (Write down how it affects each of your relationships... how does it affect your relationship with your family (significant other, spouse, kids, siblings, parents, etc.), friends, co-workers, etc.)
How has it affected your relationship with God?
What does God say in His word about this area that has been troubling you? (Locate scripture that is specific to what you are dealing with, if you need help send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or ask a trusted Godly mentor, friend, or family member!)
How will you apply God's Word and truth daily... maybe even several times throughout the day to your specific situation? (Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ and God's truth! Allow God to touch these areas and ask Him to help you heal from them! It will take time and God understands. Be consistent, intentional, and keep bringing it to His attention. He loves when His children seek out His counsel and support! He is the only One that can bring ultimate healing in our brokenness.)
God wants to help you heal and grow. He sees your holiday blues and your broken heart even when no one else even notices it. You don't have to hide your pain from Him. You don't have to pretend to be happy or joyful if you don't feel like it. You can be real and honest and raw with your emotions with Him. Surrender your past, present, and future into His hands and watch Him touch the broken areas of your life and transform it into hope, love, and joy. It's okay to feel those raw emotions of sadness, but it's also important to remember that God can and will pour back His light, love, and joy over these areas if you allow Him to do it and if you allow Him into those tender areas of your heart.
“Do you now believe?” Jesus replied.
“A time is coming and in fact has
come when you will be scattered,
each to your own home.
You will leave me all alone.
Yet I am not alone,
for my Father is with me.
“I have told you these things,
so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Each person has unique circumstances in life that shapes their thoughts, perceptions, and actions. Sometimes you can be surrounded by a world of people and feel all alone in your circumstances. In John 16, we are reminded that even Jesus reminded the disciples that He is never alone in this world, even though it may be perceived that way form the outside or from the world's perspective! Jesus states that He... and you and I... are never alone. That is a truth clearly stated in scripture, so friend, please don't believe the devil's lies that you are alone in your holiday blues and to withdraw into isolation when you are feeling down in the dumps! Jesus reminds us that God is close and present in our troubles and brokenness. The truth is that you are never alone and your voice matters to God. He has overcome the troubles and sin in this world, so turn to Him for your healing and receive all that He has in store for you today and for your future!
It's important to recognize that your sadness around
the holidays might be much deeper than just "holiday blues".
Find a close friend or mentor or family member that will help
listen to you about what you're dealing with this holiday season!
You can also e-mail us at email@example.com.
Below I've included some helpful tips to keep in mind
this holiday season to help overcome holiday blues!
Helpful Tips To Overcome The Holiday Blues:
Keep a routine schedule.
Wake up early and make a to-do-list! (Even if you only get one thing done off the list, praise yourself! GREAT JOB!!)
Practice healthy self care.
Allow yourself to have "Me Time"
Get plenty of sleep and rest.
Drink plenty of water.
Spend time in prayer.
Have a spiritual mentor pray over you regularly.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how we can be covering you in prayer!
Allow yourself to feel however you need to feel, don't let others tell you how to feel.
Be intentional and consistent in fellowship and community with other believers.
Stay away from toxic people and environments. This increases the chances of holiday blues.
Fast from social media and read a book instead.
Find a new hobby in something that you enjoy! (This can be painting, cooking, music, small group, etc!)
Speak words of affirmation and encouragement over yourself!!
Declare scripture as your armor and covering in yourself DAILY! (All throughout the day! You must train your mind to immediately default to God's Word and Truth, rather than the junk of what others or the world has told you about yourself!)
Acknowledge that you are human and have human emotions... and that is okay to break down and break and share those raw emotions with trusted friends and family.
Be thankful for your weaknesses, because they show you how much you truly need to rely on God's strength and unconditional love!
Tell yourself that the Best Has Yet To Come and God Has More In Store For Your Life Than You Could Ever Dream!!!
>> Believe It >> Receive it >> Walk In It >>
Live Courageously. Love Radiantly.