If you had to summarize your life in one nutshell sentence, what would you say? Perhaps you would talk about your background, schooling, and degree. You might mention family. Some would talk about career. Others would reflect on additional things they cherish. You might talk about very real struggles that have changed your life. Boiling life down to one statement is hard. But if you had to do it, what would you say?
Christmas has so many wonderful moments. Unfortunately, strands of loss and grief alter Christmas joy for many people each year. Approaching Christmas is hard when your heart is breaking. Depression in the holidays is a real thing.
Depression is experienced by many people during the holidays. If you are one of them, you are not alone. Life is hard. You may have had a terrible loss, a deep disappointment, a health issue, or something else that has pierced your heart this past year. It’s possible the painful life event even happened some years ago. You are not unhealthy for still feeling the sting, but you may need to find some healthy responses to move forward and be a balanced, hopeful person.
It is a terrible feeling to be stuck in the corner. Trapped by problems. Maneuverability seems so limited. Fear starts to do its work. Many times life feels like this. No matter how hard you’ve tried to do your best and make good decisions, sometimes you are just stuck in the corner. What options do you have in this place?
Life is hard! How do you get through it all? When too many painful seasons chain together, we start asking serious questions. Most people’s questions flow out of losses, disappointments, and pain.
God calls each person into their own path – a unique and special path with a promise He will walk with you. Over the long-haul, life is pretty challenging. The good is side-by-side with the hard stuff. Jesus said, “In this world, you will have troubles – but take heart. I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33) This promise brings explanation and comfort in hard seasons. There are times in your every day life that you start to feel like a weary warrior.
Life is filled with many great experiences. Yet, it is also peppered with sad things. Tragedy, disappointment, and even betrayal pierces into every person’s life at some point. You may have already experienced your share of upheaval. Whether from your own choices, someone else’s choices, or just because we live in a fallen world, most people find their life turned upside-down sometime in their journey. Very few people escape this tragic experience. Perhaps you are there now. So, what do you do when life completely up-ends you?
Sadness at Christmas is more common than many realize. Your life is filled with difficulties, hurts, losses, and disappointments. At Christmas, these things sometimes feel bigger.
What do you do when you have done your very best and it still wasn’t good enough? What is your next move after pouring into some endeavor and it didn’t seem to make a difference? How about the person who has lived healthy, food and exercise, all their life – and they get the news of cancer? You might have befriended someone who turns around and betrays you. What do you do when you prayed and trusted – and the bad thing still happened? How do you go on when death invades?
God loves you so much. Christmas is His way of proving it. He became a person just like you. God-in-a-Baby grew up in this challenging world, now so different from how He created it. Baby Jesus entered shattered creation to become a Savior. He says, “Look! I am making everything new.” (Rev. 21:5) He invites you to trust Him for this “new” in daily details, disappointments, tragedies and sorrows, and in losses that cannot be fixed. Jesus is the prize of Christmas because He is the only one who can help.
Emmanuel puts skin on God’s love. I hope you will be encouraged as you read the amazing display of God’s love for you. When you finish reading this, I hope you will ask yourself a critical question (see below). Read More …