A Not So Merry Christmas


I’ve always loved Christmas.  It’s my favorite time of year.  I love decorating my house, making Christmas gifts and goodies, listening to Christmas music starting at Thanksgiving, spending time with family and Christmas traditions.  I love the lights and the beauty of the season.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year…at least it used to be.  Things have changed in my little world, and I know there are others just like me.  This year Christmas has been hard…really hard.  As a person who has struggled with severe depression in the past, it has really taken me by surprise this holiday season that it has reared its ugly head again.  If you have depression, you know it’s not something that ever goes away.  It may subside for a while, but it can show up at the most unexpected times.

 

For me, it shows up when I’m very busy, stressed, unable to fix something, or when I’m feeling unloved or unappreciated.  This Christmas was the perfect storm of all of these.  Some of it was self-inflicted, but a good majority was brought on by other people and situations.  It’s been a hard season, to say the least.  I know I’m not alone.  I’ve talked to so many who feel the same way or I’ve seen their posts on Facebook that allude to the same feelings.

 

Christmas comes with certain feelings, expectations, and traditions.  When those get messed with, it’s not easy to deal with.  For some it’s the loss of a loved one, a divorce, a diagnosis, a rift in the family, or a myriad of other possible scenarios.  There is a certain peace and comfort that comes in the way things have always been.  There’s a certain expectation that it’s the way things will always be.  Change is hard, especially when it is forced upon you with little regard to your feelings.  It comes through the natural progression of life, but it also comes through the selfish actions of others.  No matter how it is brought about, it is painful.

 

I don’t really have any answers for you.  I just wanted you to know that if you are feeling that loss this year, if the tears have been flowing a little more freely than usual, or if you have that heavy feeling in your chest…me too.  As, I sit here now typing this message to you, my heart hurts, my chest is heavy, and the tears are brimming in my eyes.  The feelings are real and raw.  Life can be a cruel beast!  The circumstances may vary, but the feelings can be the same.  Unfortunately, this time of year seems to exacerbate them.  I can swing from pure joy to extreme sadness.  One small thing can flip the switch.  You’re not alone.  I feel your pain.

 

This I do know…this is a season.  This too shall pass.  I will learn some valuable lessons during this tough time and will hopefully set different expectations for next year.  God is still good and I can still find comfort in knowing that this season is about His birth.  No matter what expectations have not been met this Christmas, it does not change the fact that I am truly and fully loved by Him. If I had been the only one on earth, He still would have come for me, and He loves you just the same.  The King of Kings, Lord of Lords, creator of the world and all of the universe, loves us!  He gave up all of His majesty to become one of the least of us.  God came down here for us.  People will always fail us or leave us, but He never will.

 

I have felt unloved, but He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”  I’ve felt unappreciated, but He says “I have seen the time, effort and love you’ve put forth to others. Well done, you’ve loved well.”  I’ve felt stressed, busy, and out of control, but He says, “I’ve got this.”  He has seen my tears and says, “One day, I will wipe away all of your tears.”

 

His message is the same to you.  “I see you.  I feel your pain.  I save your tears and I hear your prayers.”

 

So…Merry Christmas, dear friends.  When joy seems to be just out of reach this season, no matter how hard you try…me too!  Know you are loved!  Prayers for you, that joy will show up in some amazingly unexpected ways!

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Comments

  1. I love you. Thank you for writing this.

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