While many are looking forward to a perfect family Christmas, maybe you are anticipating walking on eggshells or navigating your way through family friction. If you are apprehensive about Christmas then this blog is for you. If you know someone who needs this, please share.
God’s plan was that family would be a refuge where we are nurtured and loved. However for many, family is a place of pain and pressure. Perhaps there is one person who makes it hard for everyone when you come together. Maybe your whole family set up is messy or difficult.
I want to share three steps that you can take before Christmas to help you get through without being too bruised along the way. You may even find that you enjoy yourself more than you thought was possible.
1. FAST FORWARD
Have you ever peaked at the plot of a movie while you were watching because the tension was too much? I have done this many times! Knowing how a story ends can reduce suspense. In the same way, facing the future ahead of time 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 (Lam 2:19). For some, there will be tears as you offload pain. Others will let out anger. 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 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. Anger only ever makes things worse.
Think about who you will see this week. Tell God in prayer that you forgive those who have hurt you. Name them one by one, tell Him what they did and how it made you feel, then say, “I forgive that person from my heart. I let it go.” Soon you will be able to see their faces without flinching.
3. PUT IT ON
Maybe you are wary about seeing people who have hurt you in the past. You are worried about being wounded all over again. There is a wonderful way to cover your vulnerability and help protect yourself from undue pain.
Colossians 3:14 says, “Put on love.” Before any time together, go to God in prayer and picture yourself wrapped up with His love. Then make a decision that your role is to give and not to receive. If it is a parent, determine that you are there to honor and not to be mothered or fathered.
Ask God to help you be patient and kind throughout. Prov 24:16 says, “Though a righteous man may fall seven times, yet he arises…” If you mess up, say sorry to God then get back up and put on love again. Seek to give love, not to receive. It will be a wonderful protection.
I pray that you will experience His presence this week more than ever. Happy Christmas from my family to yours. I’m praying for you right now. God bless you greatly. If you would like to get weekly words of inspiration, scroll to the bottom of my homepage and sign up here.