Here we are, pretty well into the Christmas season. How are you feeling? The reason I ask is that for me, the season itself, seems to magnify and intensify wherever I am emotionally.
I have, of late, been focused on joy. It’s been a couple of years since joy washed over me like this, so I am relishing and appreciating joy. But it’s not lost on me how many people are hurting this Christmas season. I believe that all seasons of our lives are sacred and have purpose. Even ones where we are grieving. Or hopeless. Or angry. Or sad.
I remember one such season for me. I was a young mom of two toddlers and a newborn. My husband of six years told me he wanted a divorce. For six weeks after that initial blow, I moved in with my parents and it happened to be smack in the middle of the holiday season. That was a bleak time for this girl with no college education and no skills beyond home. I was mourning the death of my marriage and terrified of the future.
What I remember most were the nights I got no sleep. I’d wake up with a dark heavy dread pressing in on me. My 3 week old baby, Timothy, usually needed feeding a couple of times throughout the night, so I’d go sit in Mom and Dad’s living room and wrap sweet Timothy and I in a blanket. The soft glow from the Christmas tree was the only light in the room. Timothy would nurse and then fall back asleep in my arms. I would cry. Just softly cry and whisper to God all the ways I was hurting.
It wasn’t a joy filled season. It was a crying season.
Unfortunately, there have been many other crying seasons throughout the years. Not like that one. But there were several seasons when I was consumed with grief over the loss of a loved one. One season when anger consumed me. So sadly, there was one season when addiction beat me to a bloody pulp.
Some Christmas seasons are just going to be crying seasons. I ache inside knowing it’s true for some of you. I’m so sorry. If that’s where you are, for the love of all that’s Holy, …cry.
Sit in the tub and cry.
Walk around the mall and cry.
Stay up all night and cry.
Walk the dog around the neighborhood in the dark and cry.
Or my personal favorite, go out by yourself in your car and scream until your throat is sore and cry. (Don’t drink and drive, wear your seat belt, bring a box of tissue, don’t speed and go to unsafe places. I’m not being flip, I could not go on until I said that.)
Point being, do what you need to do. Your life, your seasons, come as no surprise to the One who made you.
Be gentle with your precious self. Give yourself permission to have a breakdown if you need one. And then, give yourself permission to have a break.
I’m so praying for each and every person who is reading this and is hurting on any level.
And if that’s not you. If joy is giving you tickles, well, good! Go with that. But don’t forget to stop and say a prayer when you see or hear of someone who is missing joy this year. Give a call or send a card. Say a kind word, or just give that person who cuts you off in traffic or the sales clerk who is grumpy a little slack. Never know, they may be having their own crying season.
And what the heck, while you’re at it…give someone a hug. (I’m Southern. We hug. We hug a lot.) Today, wherever you are, I’m sending you prayers and hugs, air hugs if you’re like my Stephie and don’t like your personal space invaded~ love love love~