Ah, November. Halloween is now over, and so we are in the holiday season!
In writing this, it hit me that this is also the season where so many personal celebrations occur. In years past, this was a very difficult time. Now, I am surprised it’s already here!
The fact that it snuck up on me after all this time is (I think) a good sign… that or I’ve lost my mind! 🙂 Last year was the best holiday season thus far, and so I hope this year will be the same or even better.
Lydia’s birthday is just before Thanksgiving this year. Then, in December, we have several family birthdays. I’m sure we will do something special on Dave’s December birthday, too.
Of course, there’s Christmas, followed by New Years, and our wedding anniversary in early January. I’m not thinking that far ahead, but the fact that I am not dreading ANY of it is worth noting.
This year, I’m extremely grateful. The road has been rough at times, but here we are four-and-a-half years later. I’m still standing—and even looking forward to this season. Praise God!
For anyone who is struggling, I’m so sorry. It could be grief-related, or due to other factors. I understand the mixed emotions that occur at any special event…but perhaps even more at this time of the year.
In years past, there were times when I didn’t even feel like celebrating. I just muddled through it as best I could. I let go of my expectations and took extra good care of myself, too. Instead of rushing, I rested.
This is my fifth holiday season as a widow, and each year has been so different. I plan to take it easy this year, seeing each moment as a blessing.
I wish I could say it’s easy, but each of us experiences grief, loss, and/or the holidays on our own terms. That’s perfectly alright. Take heart, and do what you need to do. Those who love you most will understand.
Since we are in the Thanksgiving season, perhaps one way to give thanks is simply to praise God for where you are right now. If you are in turmoil, this is especially important. Instead of shutting Jesus out or staying self-centered, find something—anything—for which to be grateful.
Even small wins count. Hey, we’ve made it this far, right? Praise God for that!
You don’t have to thrive in every single moment. Surviving still is a Victory in my book.
If you want to build gratitude, start with being grateful for this day…this moment. Start there, and then add to it. Write down your blessings. Don’t forget to breathe.
As you survey all that God has done for you, take in His abundant grace. His love really is all you need. Also, don’t fake brave. With Jesus, you don’t have to pretend. You can ‘ugly cry’ with Him! (Trust me, I know!) Let Him soothe your heart like only He can.
You may have a wide variety of emotions during this season. That’s normal! But take your heart to Jesus and remember: God alone never changes. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He is with you. He is for you. And, His love never fails!
God’s strength will give you joy and courage. If you let Him, Jesus will take your anxiety, fear, doubts, questions, even your tears. He knows exactly what you need in this season.
So take heart. Trust Jesus, and be grateful.
Dear God, thanks for taking such great care of me. Thank You for showing me Your love and grace in every moment. Please be with me during this holiday season. I cannot make it one minute without You, Jesus! Give me joy and be My strength. In Your Name, Amen
Questions: Are you thriving or surviving this holiday season? Are you willing to let Jesus carry you through to Victory?
Tasks: Worship always brings me comfort. It helps me express my heart on days when I am struggling. To start, listen to this song: “Lord, I Need You” by Matt Maher.