From the dazzling stately lit tree in the corner of my den to the small LED bulbs carefully sprinkled through-out my home, I am surrounded by Christmas cheer. My mantle is covered in sweet-smelling magnolia leaves, and the traditional manger scene has claimed it’s prominent place in our living room. I sit in my favorite chair swallowed by a fuzzy white blanket with the company of Hallmark in the back-ground. Tonight, life is good, and I want to stay right here.
However, the daily does not allow one to stay cozied up under the fuzzy white blanket very long. Life happens, and it is not always pretty. Through 32 years of ministry and four different churches, we have walked with some dear souls.
I think of a friend with the profound lost of a loved one’s passing, and first holidays with an empty chair.
I still ache for a wife who fled her home for her own safety many years ago.
I know of the friend overlooked for the promotion at work.
I still think of the young mamma’s child wishing for gifts under a tree, both of us knowing the budget was too tight.
Friends, you and I know all kinds of hurt hidden behind the flicking lights of the holidays. What’s a gal to do when pain is raw, and hurt is real?
If your heart is broken today, but the white lights continue to flicker, here are a few survival and practical steps to keep moving forward.
Be sure to create margins for your personal self-care. You must find time to replenish, renew, and rebuild. An empty vessel cannot pour into others. Discover a hobby or interest, find a venue for self to avoid burn-out. Find a space for rest. Some of my practical ways to relax might be a dinner out with friends, a date-night with my husband and/or a night at home with a Hallmark movie.
Eat a balanced diet and get plenty of rest at night. Yes, it is an age-old advice, but it makes a world of difference. Fruits, veggies, and lean meats are always a good choice. Just do it! If at all possible, plan for 8 hours of sleep. If you still have little ones waking up at night, sleep during nap time or go to bed early one night or arrange for a friend or family member to help with a child while you sleep in on a Saturday morning.
Lastly, fight your battles on your knees. Honest. Prayer and praise give peace in difficult situations. Through prayer, I have found direction and life-giving answers for hurting problems for myself and loved ones. A strong and steady prayer-life makes daily-life sustainable.
Fighting your battles on your knees is key. Check out this youtube entitled “Surrounded, This is How I Fight my Battles.” It is so good. Click Here.
God invites us to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:28 (NIV)
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18 (NLT)
My friend, whatever hurt you are facing today, let the flicking Christmas lights remind you of THE light of the World. Go to Him on bended knee with your every burden. He is able to heal the hidden hurt.
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 (ESV)
Merry Christmas Friends!