More than Surviving the Holidays
How many of you love the idea of the Holiday season but are finding yourself feeling blue this season? Or who out there just down right dislikes this season? For many this time of year is really hard. For some it’s a time of remembering those who they have loss, for some it is a reminder of how traumatic their childhood holidays were. For some it’s a time of seeing others living the life they dream of. For some this holiday season will leave many wondering does God hear me? For me personally I’m in a season of waiting and anticipation. There are so many reasons that people struggle to survive during the holidays. I certainly have struggled for different reasons.
I believe there is a reason that in 2 Corinthians 10:5 we are instructed to take our thoughts captive and to bring them into the obedience of Christ.
This past week I was talking to a dear friend and was sharing with her about the power of our thought life. As a counselor and life coach I work with my clients to take their thoughts captive because our thoughts often become our results. How many times have you thought “this is really going to be awful” and then that’s the result you get it’s awful. What if I told you that you have the power and opportunity to think differently? I had someone tell me “But Evonna you don’t get it I can’t change the way I think. I’ve thought this way my whole life.” I heard them, validated their concern. My response was empathetic because hey I’ve been there, but I also know that its possible to change the way you think. It takes time because it’s a journey not a destination and you have to take it one day and sometimes one moment at a time. Stay with me here.
So back to the conversation I was having with my friend last week. I shared with her how the enemy had been hitting me with some feelings of dread. I was dreading my holiday travel. Did I want to see my family? Absolutely! There isn’t anything quite like snuggling and loving on my nephews and all the other sweet kids in my extended family. But as I said I’ve been in a season of waiting and anticipation. It never fails someone will ask me while I’m home about my relationship status. Someone will make a comment about time is ticking. Many times these are in a joking manner and they don’t mean any harm by it at all but when you dream of being a wife and having your own kids its seems that the holiday’s is a great time for the enemy to remind you of what you don’t have. Those comments can really hurt even though they aren’t meant to harm us. For me it at times it has been a time for the enemy to also hit me with the spirit of comparison. Do you all ever struggle with that?
I have spent a lot of time in prayer asking God to take away the emotions. I was resisting the emotions and feelings I was having, which can I just tell you when we resist the emotions we end up with lots of other issues because we were created as beings with emotions. As I continued the conversation with my friend I just shared with her my struggle and then I told her that I get to practice what I teach this season. I get to choose how I want to think about this holiday season. My circumstance doesn’t change, but my thoughts about it do get to change. Instead of thinking of the dread and the angst about this holiday. I am choosing to think “this will be the best holiday season ever”. When I began to change my thought I noticed that I began to feel more free and excited. The dread began to dissipate and peace came in. Do I get to control how people think about me or what they say to me? NO! But I get to choose how I respond. Everyone is allowed to have their own thoughts and feelings but my joy, my hope, my peace is not contingent on their thoughts and feelings.
But Evonna you don’t understand the grief this season is hard. Evonna you don’t know my story. Evonna how can you be so sure about this.
Friends I can’t imagine the grief you are feeling this season, I imagine it hurts to the core. You’re right I don’t know your story. I’m not saying that this is the end all be all answer. What I am saying is there is power in the way we think. I am not saying push the grief aside, push the hurt aside, push the sadness aside. What I am saying is allow yourself to feel your emotions without indulging in them. Let all those emotions sit there on the table and know that you can also let joy and hope sit on the table with them. We were created to do more than just “survive” the holidays. My hope and prayer is that each reader feel the intense love of God this season. That he will meet you in the middle of all of pain and hurt and restore peace, joy and hope in your life.
If you’re struggling to survive this season. Reach out for help! You don’t have to walk through this season of struggle alone.
For me worship music is a big part of my every day. This song has been one that has been on my playlist on repeat for several weeks. I invite you to listen to the lyrics let them wash over you. We can’t do this alone let God carry you through this season!
“As I walk now through the valley
Let your love rise above every fear
Like the sun shaping the shadow
In my weakness your glory appears
I'm not enough unless you come
Will you meet me here again
Cause all I want is all you are
Will you meet me here again”