When the air turns crisp and the temperature begins to drop, our entire being knows this season. As stores start to put up lights and Christmas tree stands are thriving, we get a little twinkle in our eyes and realize that the Christmas season has come upon us. It is an exciting time to be a child, a mom, a husband or wife, and even a friend… However, though we love what Christmas represents, many of us actually find the Christmas season to be hard and often times, we truly forget what was done for us. Christmas is a time to celebrate the greatest Gift with our families and loved ones, but many of us have endured some serious brokenness over the years and have added baggage to our frames whether it be; divorce, death of a loved one, a traumatic experience that has robbed you of joy, a breakup, a financial fall, or something else. How are we supposed to sing Christmas carols of joy, when deep down inside we feel a piece of us is broken and often times we feel as though it is broken forever? I want to encourage you and help you to begin your healing process as we enter into this season so that you can have THIS Christmas season be renewed and restored.
Christ tells us in John 10:10; “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Christ didn’t come for us to remember our faults, to live in the pain we have endured. He came to give us an abundant life in and through Him.
Here are 3 simple things we can do to truly start transforming the memories and hurts that we have surrounding the Holiday season:
This truly is the only way to get to the bottom of your feelings of hurt and pain. Many of us know the exact reason why we feel so miserable. Our dad left us, your husband spent Christmas with his new girlfriend, and you can’t afford to buy your children dinner let alone Christmas gifts. But many times when we are opened to such a deep rooted pain, many other issues jump in and start piling on our open wound. Someone once said “Many of us in our lives have open wounds that we self medicate and place bandages on, over time we have put so many bandages on that our wound never healed because it didn’t get the oxygen it truly needed to heal.” That is what we do. Some turn to drinking, drugs, sex, but some of us do less obvious…we self loathe, we live in a deep rooted bitterness and unforgiveness, some of us even have developed physical illness resulting in disease because of the way we have suppressed our wounds. I know that from person experience. But God’s word tells us in Psalm 107:19-20 “they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth His Word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.” Seek Him in prayer and allow Him to change your heart, allow Him to begin a filtering process through your memories. You see, God doesn’t force Himself into those areas; He waits patiently knocking at the door until you let Him in. It can take some time, but by breaking down that wall and giving God full access to the areas we need Him most…we WILL see life-changing things happening right before our eyes.
That word can sometimes cause so much frustration. We hear it all the time, but it just is so hard sometimes! What does forgiveness even mean? It means to wipe the slate clean, to pardon, to cancel a debt….giving up my right to hurt you, for hurting me. Is your heart just not prepared to forgive? Step one can help with that. Even if you are stubborn (as I have been many times) and just don’t want too…understand that you need to forgive. Not only to release the person you hold a grudge on, but to stop slowly killing yourself from the inside out. Yes! Unforgiveness takes root and rears its ugly head in many ways mentally, emotionally, and physically. Maybe you say “I have tried and I just can’t. Well, I’ve been there too and it has taken a lot of prayer allowing God to change my heart so I could truly see the people who have hurt me the way He sees them. If neither of those are the reason, then you might be struggling with forgiving yourself for something. Maybe you have done something that you just feel terrible about and you don’t even know how to begin to make it right. You struggle with forgiving yourself for “taking that hit,” or “sleeping with that guy” or whatever else might have happened. Why should you be happy on Christmas when you ruined someone else’s? Many of us grew up with overly religious backgrounds that have taught us how unworthy we are in the sight of God, but look at His Word…”For God SO loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…” God gave His ONLY SON, because His love for you was so powerful. When we don’t forgive ourselves, in a way we are smacking God in the face and saying “Christ’s journey to the cross didn’t work for me.” Yes it did! You will find that not forgiving yourself can be the most detrimental. It is time to let it go, give it to Him, and wake up on Christmas knowing that that day, was the day, God brought unconditional love into our world so He could one day hold you sinless and blameless in His arms.
- Volunteer in your community or church
I know I know! You hear it all the time “serve” “serve and your life will change,” but really… have you ever wondered if those same people who say that are really onto something? Christ came to serve. God in flesh. Do you really think God would become Human and serve when He is King of Kings if it wasn’t crucial for our survival? Jesus was at the last supper when He had already told his disciples what He was going to endure the following day, and what did he do? He got on His knees and served his friends by washing their feet and making a point to explain to them what must be done. He even served the one whom He knew betrayed Him. In His darkest hour, Jesus served, because there is something spiritual about laying down ourselves in our troubles just to see that little boy smile, to see that elder tear up because they haven’t been hugged in a long time, or even to have your eyes opened to the hurting in someone who once betrayed you.
Tis the Season to be Jolly! Because God showed up in a world that needed a Savior and He has and will continue to show up in yours! Christmas is a time to be thankful for He who was born and to start a re-birthing in ourselves. I pray that this Christmas is the Christmas that you drop all baggage and prepare to follow your star to Bethlehem to present your new hope and joy to the King Himself! Merry Christmas, My friends!