Holidays-The pain, the promise and the adventure
|West Texas beauty|
Christmas and the holidays are a time many families gather together for fun and to celebrate, however, for many, the holiday season may be difficult. The holidays only remind them of what is NOT in their lives anymore.
Grief often shows up unexpected during this season, triggering the pain that might have remained hidden the rest of the year.
The good news is God sent Jesus to be with is in our pain. I speak from experience… The things I have learned from walking through grief have been some of the best teachers in my life. One of the things I have learned is no matter what has occurred, God has held my hand and was full of compassion.
Matthew 1:23 tells us that Jesus was sent to be with us. “The virgin will be with child and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel-which means, “God with us.” (NIV)
Psalms 73:23 also tells us, “Nevertheless, I am continually with you; You hold you by the right hand.” (NKJV)
These scriptures gave me great confidence, as I went through my first holidays without my late husband, my mother and my father and other family members I’ve lost. Knowing God was with me and cared about my pain has also expanded my compassion for other people and these lessons are priceless.
God cares when our heart hurts and wants to heal us.
Psalms 34:17 states “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
This is a promise we can hang on to. It may not feel like God is close in our pain but the truth is, He has never been closer.
As I have prayed the simple prayer of, “God, I give you my pain and the hurt in my heart,” I have experienced Him guiding me, encouraging me, and His kindness, has made the above scripture very real.
Too many times, our feelings can lie to us in tough times, and we can feel like God has forsaken us. In these times, we must believe the truth of God’s word; He is near, He cares, He wants to deliver us from our pain and He is good. We must press through the negative feelings and give him the broken pieces of our lives.
If you are brokenhearted over losing a loved one, have been recently divorced, or experienced another loss, let me encourage you to ask God to open your eyes to see His nearness and to encourage your heart. I have ask Him in my life and it works! The truth is you are precious to Him and He cares and will heal you as you look to him.
|Barrett-my stepson and me|
Five years ago, both my parents passed away. As the first Thanksgiving without them approached, I began to realize that this would be my first holiday in my life without my mom, dad or my adult children. At first, I was sad but then I ask God to give me His perspective of the holiday and help me to see it as He saw it.
I felt God showed me that I needed to look at things differently, to look forward to the adventure that was ahead and what good things He had in store for me. I felt God say to love those He put in my life during the holiday as I would my parents and children. All of a sudden, the approaching holiday began to look different.
That holiday, we went to Alpine, Texas. My husband has hunting business so we spent Thanksgiving at a ranch in west Texas with several mule deer hunters and my stepson, Barrett. There were many blessings and new experiences that I enjoyed as I embraced the adventure and the new assignment I had, to love those around me.
I challenge you to ask God to help you see the approaching Christmas season with His perspective. Looking for the adventure makes you look forward to what could be ahead.
You may not be grieving this Christmas season, but God may want to use you to be His arms of compassion and love to others. Often people that are grieving just need people someone to affirm their pain and loss and encourage them. Perhaps you will be the one God uses to bring healing to someone hurting.
Life is very different and difficult without those that have been a huge part of our lives. It is challenging and hard to go on without them. Love and compassion will always win and bring healing. Love never fails. Sometimes, a hug and kind words mean the world to a grieving person.
God promises to heal broken hearts. Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” This is your promise to hang on to this Christmas.
Give God your broken heart, and begin to thank Him for the healing that will come this holiday season. Look forward to who God wants to be for you, knowing that Immanuel is right there with you and focus on the new adventure that is ahead.
I ask God to touch your heart this holiday season and make it a special one. And remember, you are not alone.
Kathleen is a native of the Hill Country and is a writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping people discover their value and worth. She welcomes your contacting her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her blog at www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com