Christmas can be a season of stress and strain for many. God’s plan was that family would be a safe refuge where we are nurtured and loved. However for many, family is a place of pain or pressure. If that’s you, this blog will help.
Alternatively, maybe this time of year is a hurtful reminder of how much you miss the one who has gone. As the days draw near, you’re trying not to think about Christmas too much. When someone we treasure is snatched from us, it can feel cruel to even contemplate celebrating.
So how do we get through the week without being bruised along the way? How can we come out the other side feeling that Christmas was more safe and secure than we had suspected it would be? I want to share three keys that will help.
1. Fast Forward
Have you ever peaked at the plot of a movie because the tension was too much? Knowing how a story ends can relieve unwanted suspense. In the same way, facing what the future holds can help us cope.
If you will be spending time with someone who has hurt you, talk to God about it in advance. Picture that person in prayer and tell the Lord what happened. Pour out your heart before Him. For some, there will be tears as you offload pain. Others will let out anger. Most of all, ask God to relieve your stress and heal your soul, ahead of time.
If you’re facing Christmas without your loved one, go to God beforehand in prayer. Picture yourself at the dinner table without them beside you and ask the Lord to take the pain away. Share your sadness with the Lord and ask Him to fill the void. He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds. Restoration is a journey but each healing encounter in His presence helps.
2. Let it go
They say that unforgiveness is like drinking poison hoping the other person will die. When we hold anger against someone who has hurt us, we bind ourselves to the pain of the past. Bitterness builds within, adding insult to our injury.
Think about the people you will see this week. Come to God in prayer and tell Him that you forgive those who have hurt you. Name them one by one, tell the Lord what they did and then vocalise your forgiveness. Soon you will be able to see their faces without flinching.
3. Put on love
Maybe you are wary about seeing family who have hurt you. You have to face them again but you are worried about being wounded. There is a wonderful way to cover your vulnerability. The Bible calls it putting on love.
Before any time together, picture yourself wrapped up with love. Then make a decision that your role is to give and not to receive. If it is a parent, determine that you’re there just to honor and not to be mothered or fathered. Ask God to help you show patience and kindness.
I pray that you will know His presence this week closer than ever. Happy Christmas from my family to yours. I’m praying for you right now. God bless you greatly.