You look around you and all the world is two by two. At Christmas everyone has a boyfriend or girlfriend, and guess what, they all got rings.
You want to go to church, but again everyone is in couples. You know that the minute you walk through those doors with two kids in tow and no spouse, you will start to see eyes that you interpret as judgmental. You certainly don’t venture into a small group class because they are all for couples. If you do find a good singles class, you are not sure that you want to go because you are not ready to discuss the whole situation.
Your good friend just got his or her Christmas bonus. Where’s yours? You are not sure how much longer the car will make it, so you certainly don’t have extra money for Christmas. It will be a strain for sure.
She hates you. You know that a certain coworker thinks you are an idiot. Let’s face it: you have said so many things that you wish you could take back. So many times you say the wrong thing. At the top of your prayer list is learning how and when to stop talking.
You really hate this job. You want another job, are looking for another job, but so far, God hasn’t released you from this one. A sense of dread overwhelms you around Sunday each week.
A loved one is dying. A loved one recently died, or you are experiencing chronic health problems. As you see everyone enjoying the holiday season, all the decorations seem to do nothing more than cause knots in your stomach.
Quite frankly, you are staring at a battlefield without the courage to go on it. But, you have no choice.
This is in my field of expertise, this thing called the blues. I am well acquainted with so many of the above situations–that’s why I can talk about them so easily. Been there, done that. If you read some of my other blog posts, you will see some stories from my life. Christmas is definitely a challenge for my family but God has laid on my heart today to share hope. It seems that this is timely. As I was starting to type this, I received a text informing me that a good friend is dying. Unbelievable. My pastor’s sermon this morning hit upon this same subject.
But Christmas is about hope and hope we shall now pursue. Good thing is that in Christ Jesus, we just have to rest and let Him do all the work. He is ready, but are we? Are we ready to let it go and let God take it, never grabbing it back like a mad two year old?
Here are some things that God has taught me in the valley, lessons learned and basically a prescription for the blues.
Do the hard things. Whatever God is calling you to do, whether it is apologize, pay that bill, get another job to pay those bills or grade those papers and plan for the week, do it. Nothing makes you feel better than just tackling it and doing it.
Grieve. Give yourself a break. Let it out. In our former house, Robert and I had an amazing closet that I could shut the door, curl up in the floor and cry, or pray or cry and pray. Sometimes I do this best in my car while driving. You must take it to Jesus. Don’t expect that He knows already, which He does, but you must verbalize all that is in your heart. It will do a world of good.
Don’t fall for the enemy’s pride trap. It’s big, it’s easy to fall into, but don’t. So many things that we don’t remedy have to do with our silly pride. You may have acted a fool, you need to apologize. Do it. You may have done all the right things and looked a fool, so you feel bad. That’s silly pride. Don’t fall for that trap.
Don’t dig up bones. Randy Travis has an old song called “Digging Up Bones”. Do you know how many times I have woke up feeling awful about something that happened years ago that I can do nothing about. Another Satan trap.
During the darkest of valleys, surround yourself with godly counsel. Let them think and pray you through. There are times when you can’t believe you are still breathing, but you are. The pain is too much. Our Christian brothers and sisters will carry you through. They will intercede for you; just ask.
Don’t give up. All things take time. When the money is lean, buying something that I don’t need never seems more tempting, but that is a form of giving up. Stay the course.
Consider this word from God:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 2 Corinthians 1:3-9
Our hardships can be a great tool to comfort others. I know that this is no comfort to us sometimes, but sometimes it is. God has a plan, and we must trust Him. Somedays, I so wish that I knew what that plan was, but we must commit to trust.
Christmas is the season of hope. A child came to save the world. So all the things that our modern day world has made Christmas and many things that may make us sad are not what Christmas is about. A Savior came. I needed saving. What a reason to celebrate.
So turn up the music. The enemy wants you defeated. He loves to see a Christian suffering, but God wants to turn that mourning into gladness. He can. I can testify that when I thought I would never smile again, God brought my smile back. My situation didn’t change, but God did what only God can do and returned to me hope and joy.
Let us strive to be a testimony to only what God can do. Let’s embrace this verse:
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Also we need some Christmas music and my friend Travis Cottrell is the best. So turn this up loud:
[caption id="attachment_1020" align="alignright" width="132"]IMG_1330 These are for sale on Amazon. “And This Ain’t Hollywood Either” is a 30 day devo written during the season when my dad experienced a bad stroke during Christmas & I talk about that. Check past blog posts for some of those stories & save ordering it.[/caption]
Travis Cottrell “Ring The Bells”
I love helping with women’s events at churches anytime I can, so check my calendar and contact me if I can help.
Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen! Revelation 7:12