It is supposed to be the most joyous season of the year. And no, it is not the start of the NFL pre-season, when the kids return to school, or ever what the new Duck Dynasty episodes start again. (I may reconsider new Duck Dynasty, ….I will think about it.)
This is the time of the year when we have a strong desire to love and to spend time with our families, enjoy the decorations and the eggnog, and hopefully taking time to know the real meaning of Christmas. Sadly, it can be the most depressing and most dangerous time for someone dealing with divorce. I remember those days, and I would not wish them on my worst enemy.
Everyone has heard the stats about suicide and depression at this time of the year. It is very real and unless you have first hand knowledge, you don’t understand. The combination of loss, change, and unreal expectations get the best of people this time of year.
NEVER GIVE UP!!!
One of the funniest things I remember our daughter say when she realized she did not want to go to sleep and she was learning to talk is exactly that, NEVER GIVE UP!!
I don’t remember how or where she heard it, but there was that night when she just did NOT want to go to sleep. Having a baby monitor near the crib is priceless for piece of mind, but you hear the funniest things too.
She just kept saying “NEVER GIVE UP”. I can’t even remember how many times, but it took a while to stop laughing and quit making those noises you make when you try not to laugh.
Just like her, we need to have the attitude to not give up on our situation or on the things that are the right things to fight for.
It is more than just saying a phrase. It is all about having a drive and a will that causes you to speak life into your situation.
How do you get comfort for that brokenness you feel deep down in your soul when you finally realize this time of year is never ever going to be the same?
I believe that, more than ever, you must keep your thoughts, feelings, desires, and attention on Jesus like your life depends on it. Why? Because it does depend on it.
What do you say when your ex gets the kids around Christmas and all you want is to shower them with your love and attention along with gifts you know they will just go crazy when they see them?
When you have to say something to your kids or your ex about plans for the time around Christmas, remember that Jesus came and died for you, your ex, and your kids. That is what is important. This is the time of the year to celebrate the birth of a Savior, the One and only Son of God. It is about a gift.
Gifts are better given than received. As you get older, you realize that the true joy is giving the gift. To be able to bring joy and excitement to another person, no matter how big or small, is healing in itself. It heals us on the inside, at a soul level.
If you could have $1 million and the only stipulation was that you have to give it all away in denominations of no more than $100. How would you do that? Would you walk down the street and find a homeless person to bless? Would you make the red kettle bell ringer’s day when he opens the lid? Would you enjoy walking through the mall and just giving kids cash? How would you feel after doing that? How many people that can’t afford food or more than a simple present would see $100 as a life-changing amount? More than you might think.
In those times when you feel depression trying to take over, just know that Jesus never has and never will give up on you. You just need to make it through this moment and not give up. It is when we give up that depression, anxiousness, and all the negative feelings take over and “Scrooge” our lives. Don’t let it happen.
Do a few things for yourself.
1) Spend time reading God’s word. It is so full of peace and encouragement. Feed your soul words of truth, not seeds of depression.
2) Spend time with those you can, even if it is friends and not your family. Just do not stay alone. Make it known to at least one friend that you would love to spend a little time with them. Families will open their doors to friends that need someone to be around, but we must not be too proud to ask or inquire of them. If they don’t know, they may not invite you to join them.
3) Realize that this time will soon pass and you have so much to look forward to. Just like the wrapped gifts under the tree, you are never sure what the gift is until you unwrap it. God is giving you gifts all the time, daily. Just look for them. Open them. He wants you to know of His great love for you, especially in this season.
There is not a day that goes by that I do not wonder who is reading this blog and I pray for you daily, that you truly know the love, peace, and joy that surpasses all understanding. You are never alone. God is with you, and I am praying for you.
Have a blessed Merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season.