When someone I love is hurting, it's difficult and painful to stand by, being unable to do something to lessen their pain. Most times, it's hard to know what to say. Praying, for me, has been a way of helping.
At this time of year, our hearts should be filled with joy and excitement to spend time with friends and family. We should be looking forward to festive meals, relaxation, laughter, and reflection on the reason behind the season.
For the first time in a really long time, I have joy, peace, and excitement for this time of year. Being freed from things that used to burden and changing my mindset has made all the difference. A difference that has only happened through a relationship with Christ. I'm beyond grateful for the turnaround this year.
For decades, this season only meant loneliness, rejection, hurt, and without cause for celebration. So it's very easy to understand the plight of friends and family who struggle at Christmastime.
The reasons can be many behind not feeling all too merry or engaging in the meaning of this time of year. Some reasons that, recently and personally, resonate with me are someone who lost their home to the cruel and unbiased nature of fire. Another moved out of their marital home, facing divorce, with three small children.
My heart cries out, "This is so unfair. Why them? Why now? Why this time of year, or any time of year for that matter?" Though the questions go unanswered, it's hard to reconcile these things when hurt is the end product.
As a Christian, I have not only known great hurt, still do, but there is a source to help heal and restore a hurting heart. That source has been God and Jesus Christ. That's why this time of year holds so much more hope and joy than ever before. A hope and joy that remains a great desire, of mine, for others to know.
Along with a want to reach into the depths of another person's pain filled life to pull them into hope. Hope to live another day, to trudge ahead, to dream again. Hope to look beyond the brutal reality and see the absolute truth that things will get better and the fog will fade away with the rising sun.
Hope was the thing I was desperate for the most throughout life. When my son was taken from me, when the divorce papers were served, when the addictions took over. Hope would have really been good but there was very little to none most days.
When I became a Christian and things were changing within, the learned and experienced things of Jesus brought hope. A fuel laden, dynamite charged fire of hope that helped a broken heart to beat again.
So, as the days draw closer to Christmas and my reason for the season, Christ, hope stirs and rises as desires for others to experience that same hope does. Not just for those I know, but for everyone around the globe who don't yet know the promise and joy that hope in Jesus brings.
Encouragement for the week:
You are loved. In your loneliness, your broken relationship, the loss of your home, or whatever brokenness you are facing, you are loved. Beyond measure, beyond your own understanding. There is nothing you have to do to earn this love. It's yours for the asking.
I know you're hurting, especially this time of year, and I may not know the right words to say. I have been where you are, in that place of hurt, and sometimes a listening ear might be all you need but it's here for you. Whenever you need it.
I understand and care and desire that you know the same hope and joy I found, not only for this time of year, but all year round.
If you are a Christian reading this, it is my hope that you cling to the reason for this season, Jesus Christ and that His birth would bring fresh joy and hope into your heart.
If you are not a Christian reading this, it is my great hope that you would look for Jesus and reach out to Him to experience all the hope, joy, and peace that He desires you to enjoy.
I wish to thank all of my dedicated readers and followers for being a part of my blog success so far. May you all have a very Merry Christmas. Get caught up in the little things and do away with the trivial. Enjoy each moment because there are no do overs. Time is precious and the amount we each have on this earth is unknown, so enjoy your life.