Recently, I reflected on a disappointing scenario that penetrated my life last year. It hit like a missile, and I found myself deeply sad. Being familiar with the need to make hard decisions for good reasons for long periods of time, I guess I forgot about a real phenomenon. After decades of managing such situations, you end up with a “pile-up.” This pile-up loomed in my thoughts and lingered in my heart. Clearly, I needed a re-boot. Somehow the pile-up had turned into a mountain.
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.
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 …
It’s hard to jump into cheer and joy when your heart is hurting. But Christmas is still going to come. How do you get through the holidays if you are grieving or depressed? What do you do with sadness in the holiday season?
If anyone has ever told you depression is not real, don’t believe them. If someone has questioned whether a person can be depressed and still be a Christian, do not let them speak into your life. And worst of all, if anyone has ever judged you for being depressed, put up gentle boundaries that protect your heart.
Depression and Pain are cousins. Sometimes they come visiting . . . and linger too long as your “guests.” More often, they feel like predators. As much as you want them OUT, you feel helpless to make them leave. You cannot shake the depression. Or perhaps it’s the pain, whether physical, emotional, spiritual, mental. So, instead you find yourself asking questions like:
- Why is this condition present?
- Why won’t it leave?
- What have I mismanaged that this continues?
- Am I being punished?
- Why do I have to live with circumstances I would never wish on anyone?