Thanksgiving and Christmas are meant to be joyous times spent with family and friends, giving thanks for all that we’ve been given and celebrating the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ.
But sometimes, the holidays hurt.
Picture a little girl, sitting by the Christmas tree. Lights surround her in a house full of warmth and love. The aroma of spiced cider, fruit pies, and baked goods hangs in the air. The little girl wears a flouncy dress and has a fancy bow in her hair.
She looks perfect, her surroundings look perfect. All is right in her little world.
Just because things look pretty and good does not mean they are.
What if I told you this little girl sat over by the tree, in the corner, to avoid a family member who verbally abuses her? That this little girl, not old enough to cry out and tell someone that an adult is hurting her, is experiencing pain that she will carry into adulthood. That this pain will color her world and how she interacts with people for a very long time.
We all carry things with us. Whether it’s pain from past abuses, the anger and frustration associated with divorce, or any number of other things that we could label as “baggage.”
It’s there. It may look different to each person, but we all have something.
To those of you who are not experiencing some kind of hurt this Christmas season, please say a prayer for those who are.
And to those who feel like you are suffering alone…know that you are never alone.
Many people have experienced what you are going through and they are there, just reach out to someone.
Remember, we have a Redeemer who will wipe away your tears.
This season, like many of you, I am dealing with some hurts. Some from the past, a few more recent. But this time I am challenging myself to remember the Serenity Prayer and to dwell on what it means.
God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.
Are you dealing with a hurt this holiday season?
Have you done so in the past?
How have you/will you deal with it this year?
What promises does God make us about going through times of trial?