November 9, 2015

The holidays are coming up soon, and I have been in prayer about what that means for me and my family this year. As you may have read before, my parents divorced this past Summer. I was, and am on some days, devastated by this. How can one enjoy the holidays when their family is no longer as it was? How can someone celebrate this time of year when there is so much to cry about?

This isn't something I have ever read about. A lot of people don't write blog posts about how divorce has affected their holiday season. At least I haven't read any. I am sure there are some out there. What I have had to learn this year is that God is still a good God despite my circumstances. The Christmas of 2001 was a hard one as well. The day after Christmas we had to put my Grandmother in hospice care after her battle with cancer had come to a head. We all had taken care of her for those few months before, but it came down to her being cared for by us, or being cared for by people who could do it 24/7 and with the ability to make her comfortable. I remember being so angry that this had ruined my Christmas. I know that may sound selfish, but it isn't. I wanted the last Christmas we'd have with her to be magical, happy, and joyful, but it wasn't the case. That Christmas Day I had watched her sleep while tears slowly fell from my eyes. I knew that she didn't have much time left, but it made me think of other people who may be dealing with a painful loss or experience just as I was.

The truth is, Christmas isn't perfect. It isn't the time of year that hopelessness can truly be left behind. Some people are right in the middle of their hopelessness. Some people are fighting their hardest battle on the same day the Savior was born to wipe away hopelessness and death. So, how can one acknowledge this when all they see is hopelessness and death in front of them? How can someone be joyful during a season in which their family is broken? Holidays here and there. Holidays spent with one parent and then with the other. I will tell you how. By acknowledging that despite my circumstances, God is still good. We all have our battles. We all have messes in our lives that can't be cleaned up with a glass of eggnog and Bing Crosby playing in the background. Christmas is more about the realization that we are all messed up and that Jesus came down in the middle in the mess. He came to hold you in the midst of the mess, not to just wipe it away. How much better will I be because of these circumstances? It's a time of faith testing. It's keeping my eyes on the baby who was born in humble, mire, and messy circumstances. A baby born in a lowly place. The same lowly place we all experience. I can keep the faith as long as I know I still have a good God. A good God who is on my side.

I want you to understand that I am there with you, if you are having a hard time. If you are experiencing a life change, or a loss. My Pawpaw won't be with us this Christmas, and for the first time in 29 years, I won't experience celebrating with him. I know that we all would like to see bloggers with perfect trees and coordinated holiday outfits. Life isn't about that. Christmas isn't about that either. I encourage you to hold tight. Don't let the hardness of this world also make you hard. I pray that you find true comfort and peace. I pray you find joy. True joy. That is what Christmas is about. Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what you do have, despite what you don't. We are all waiting for something. We are all enduring something. I pray you find that God is a good God in the waiting.

Happy Monday, xx.

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