When the Holidays Hurt Too Much
When you’re mourning the loss of a loved one, nursing a broken heart, or unable to be with your loved ones during the Holidays, it hurts even more. Scrolling on social media only adds salt to the wound, seeing everyone full of joy and surrounded by the people they love. What about the rest of us? How do we deal with the pain and loneliness we’re feeling?
I remember my first Holiday away from my family. My friends had to work and my mom was in another state. I sat on the bathroom floor crying, feeling so alone. Moreover, I lost my dad the weekend after Thanksgiving when I was a teenager, so this time of year typically triggers feelings of sadness because of that. For years (12 to be exact) Thanksgiving and Christmas were always hard to bear. I endured them more than I enjoyed them. I wondered how long it would it take to feel joyful again. Would I feel this hurt forever?
The answer is no.
If you’re in a similar situation I want you to know it’s true for you too. This feeling won’t last forever. I can’t tell you how long it will last for you, but I can tell you that I’ve walked down a similar path and came out on the other side. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
First, let me encourage you. You will feel joy again and it won’t always be this way. Just because things are different now, doesn’t mean they’ll never be good again. Life is what we make it. The more we focus on our hurt and loneliness, the bigger it becomes. Though real, you can’t let it consume you. Find reasons to smile, even if it’s for the smallest things. Magnify the good. That’s how you fight. Don’t shut yourself out from friends because you’re hurting, surround yourself with people who care. And whatever you do, don’t suppress your feelings - talk, write, and pray through them. Keeping things in often does more harm than good.
Second, let me remind you that you’re not alone. God sees your hurt, and He cares about it. He hasn’t left you (though it may feel like it). Call on Him. Psalm 34:18 says, “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” He draws near to us when we draw near to Him (James 4:8). All you have to do is invite Him into your situation. His spirit brings comfort, joy, protection, and peace to our hearts and minds. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but God can and will.
I felt led to write this today, so if it’s for you take it as confirmation that God sees your situation and hears your cry. I pray the rest of your day and year are filled with more joy, love, and peace than you can imagine, and that God sends people to surround you and show you just how much He cares for you. Lord, let the pain decrease and your joy increase in them, and be everything they need right now. In Jesus name, Amen.
Merry Christmas friend.