Most people probably pray and hope for a perfect Christmas. Maybe an exciting one, or an eventful one. Possibly you’re going on vacation or seeing family. Most people would pray for a fun and heartfelt Christmas. I, however, am praying for a boring Christmas.
The last two years have been challenging. They’ve been heartbreaking, awful, painful, and eventful. Within 2 years I’ve lost my dad, uncle, grandma, and grandpa. Oh, and my dog. January 8th will mark 2 years without my dad…so Christmas is full of some of the last memories we have with them. All that plus on Christmas last year, my grandma coded was placed on a vent in ICU. We spent the whole time from Christmas until the middle of January in a hospital waiting room. By the grace of God, she lived through that but later died in May. So last Christmas holds even more bad memories.
This year, my family is praying for a boring Christmas. It seems like every year for the last few something huge has happened in this time of year and we are begging God that this year will be different.
I say all this because I know I’m not the only one. I know there are thousands of other people who are praying for a calm holiday season. For a season void of loss and heartache. Christmas holds a lot of pain for many of you and I’m sorry you’re dealing with that. My prayer for all of us is that we approach the holiday with thankfulness and seeking God. Trying not to dwell on that loss, heartbreak, or PTSD but dwelling on what you still have and what God has in store for you.
My prayer for all of us is that we approach the holiday with thankfulness and seeking God
For those that, like my family, have a hard time with Christmas…I wanted to just give you a few tips of encouragement that I have learned (or am still learning) through my journey dealing with loss.
#1 Give yourself a break
Don’t feel pressured to act any certain way or do certain things. If you’re like me, I get really hard on myself when I don’t feel like I’m measuring up to the idea in my head and this holiday season…I’m trying to give myself a little break. If the holidays are hard on you, don’t be too hard on yourself if you need to step back from things.
#2 Allow God’s peace to come
So often I personally pray and beg for God’s peace to fill me but I never calm down enough to actually let His peace come. I fight with anxiety that when I start feeling peace, I often allow Satan to win and just keep feeling anxious. When we pray for God’s peace…we have to be ready to allow it to come.
#3 Don’t assume the worst
If the holidays are hard because of loss or heartbreak, remember that not everything will be the worst situation. Not every phone call will be a call that you’ve lost someone. Not every illness will end in death. The holidays can be even harder if you keep expecting everything bad to happen or if you dwell too much on your loss.
#4 Changing or skipping traditions is okay
We’ve worked on changing or just skipping some traditions that feel too hard. We might just skip them for a year or two or completely change them…and that’s okay. It isn’t the end of the world to change a tradition if its too hard to handle after a loss. That is between you and your family. Sometimes it can be a good time to start new traditions.
I hope that all of you who are struggling this Christmas will get a calm and boring Christmas if that is exactly what you need. Have a wonderful Christmas Eve and hug those you still have around you. XOX