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Surviving The Holidays After Loss

The Holidays can be very difficult for those of us who have lost loved ones (spouses, parents, children). This is usually when our grief becomes more pronounced and almost unbearable as the holidays are when we often set aside time to spend with our family.

Therefore, those who have lost loved ones are often left with an empty void in their hearts during this season. We know that all we have are memories of past holidays spent with our departed loved ones, and will never have another chance to make new memories.

Because of this, the holidays can sometimes be hard to bear. We are expected to put on a happy face, because, this is the season of joy, right? But the reality is that not everyone experiences pure joy during this time of year.

We know that there are people who are less fortunate than us, and are immediately reminded of how blessed we truly are. But still, the pain of our loss can sometimes cause us to see the glass as half-empty rather than half-full.

As Christians, we are often expected to only acknowledge our joys, while burying our sorrows. We are expected to suck it up, deal with it, or let it go.

And we are often reminded that in spite of it all, God is a good God. And that He is — I can truly testify to the goodness of the Lord. If it had not been for Him, I would have died in my sorrows. I truly felt as if my heart were going to explode because of the pain of my grief.

So, I am thankful to God everyday for my well-being. He literally brought me back from the brink of death. But I am not afraid to acknowledge that as a Christian I sometimes feel sad, or mad, or weak. I am not a “Super Saint.” I am human.

Once Jesus Christ returns for His church (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18), and I receive my new immortal body, this is when I will no longer feel sad — because God will wipe all tears from my eyes.

I will no longer feel lonely — because I will be resting in the Savior’s loving arms throughout eternity. But for now, I am not ashamed to acknowledge that this Christian walk is a struggle everyday.

You have to want to be here and make a decision everyday to stay on this path no matter what comes and no matter what goes. And God helps us through it all. He gives us strength to endure.

The one thing that I can tell you for sure is that I AM COMMITTED!! Through the good times and the bad. Through the happy times and the sad. I am committed to this Christian journey. With God’s help, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Once you develop a REAL relationship with God, you come to know Him, and trust Him. And when you trust Him, you KNOW He has your best interest at heart at ALL times.

You KNOW that God wouldn’t allow you to go through things as a way to destroy you. You come to understand that being the loving God that He is, He will sometimes allow you to go through things because He knows they will only strengthen you causing you to look outward instead of inward (as we sometimes do), not becoming a selfish and spoiled brat who only thinks of herself.

Often, it is when we have gone through difficulties and hardships, that we are able to empathize with others who are also going through.

We are able to help them and comfort them with the same comfort we have been comforted with (2 Cor. 1:3-4). We also develop patience through our trials. And patience makes us stronger.

So rest assured, God loves us and wants the best for us. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

God brought me through my grief and sorrow (after the passing of my husband) and has given me a hope and a future. He has lifted my heavy burden and caused me to smile again. I didn’t know if I would ever be able to feel joy again — but let me tell you, I have joy!

God’s joy is amazing. It’s a lasting joy, not the superficial joy the world experiences through acquiring “things.” This doesn’t last. It’s only predicated on those things lasting and your being able to acquire more things.

Things don’t make you happy! They only give you a false sense of happiness. But God’s joy is lasting. You can experience His joy just by being alive; just by seeing a beautiful sunset; and by knowing that when you die (if you are born again–John 3:1-5), you have a home in Heaven for eternity.

Knowing the richness and depth of God’s love can help us through the difficult and dark periods of life. These periods are only temporal.

They are seasons in our lives that we all must go through. But just like Winter doesn’t last always, but eventually turns into Spring, neither do these difficult times last always. In the meantime, God helps us through them.

I know it was God, and God alone, who helped me (carried me really) through my grief. He loved me back to life! And for that I am eternally grateful.

So, even though the Holidays can be difficult after loss, we have a loving Father who can help us through them. Hold on. It will get better. I am a witness.

 Surviving the Holidays

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2 Comments on "Surviving The Holidays After Loss"

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Jackie Darling
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Wow! What knowledge and depth of insight you have shared with us, Jeanita. Thank you. I have not suffered the physical loss of a spouse or child, but I know how the pain of lonliness can engulf your life whether you have a spouse or not. For too many years, I was married and extremely lonely and felt that nothing would ever be able to break that chain on my heart. But, God in his mercy kept pursuing me (in spite of my running from Him). He showed me simple beauty and simple whispers of songs or breezes that made… Read more »
Jeanita
Guest

Jackie, I appreciate your sharing & commenting. You are right, we all experience loneliness at some point in our lives. Your message is powerful and so true, you can even experience loneliness in your marriage. The Holidays have become so commercialized to the point where those who are not in ‘traditional’ families, often feel left out. The Holidays should remind us of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice of Himself for the world and a time to reflect on all His blessings to us. God Bless you and your family!

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