Freedom Connection

Christmas – Joyful or Lonely?

20

Dec 12

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Question MarkFor many, this season is a time of love, joy, family and friends celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

For others, the holidays are a very lonely time.  Much of this season has become about money, busyness, and unrealistic expectations.  We watch the Christmas movies, remember times from our childhood and often have an expectation  that reality cannot possibly live up to.

Some who are single think they could enjoy this Christmas season so much more if they were married.  Those without children grieve thinking that Christmas is about children and that they cannot celebrate family traditions unless there are children in their midst.  Some who are married and experiencing trying times in their relationship,  miss the happier times and the past becomes their focus.  Some people yield to the pressures that society and family members place on them which results in lack of rest, inner joy and peace.

There is reality and there is fantasy (false expectations).  While we endeavor to enjoy this season, I encourage you to remember that the true reason for the season is the birth and life of Jesus Christ.  That is reality. I also encourage you to let go of the fantasy and unrealistic expectations that no human can possibly fulfill.

This Christmas season you may be surrounded by wonderful family and friends;  enjoy every moment of it.

However some of you may feel lonely, lost, and depressed.   And especially for those who struggle with addictions, the holidays can be a much more vulnerable time.

Here are some suggestions to help you who are struggling in some way this season:

Get out a stick pin and “POP” the fantasy bubble that has been created.

  • What are your unrealistic expectations?
  • Do you think other people or situations are going to make you happy?
  • Are you living in a “the grass is greener on the other side” fable?

Take action against the loneliness and depression.

  • Are you seriously depressed and need clinical help?  Don’t delay… Get help!
  • Are you discouraged or feel hopeless because you don’t have family and friends around? Reach out!  Don’t wait for people to come to you and invite you to events and celebrations.  Take the initiative and invite others to spend time with you.
  • Continue to avoid situations that encourage you to turn back to your addictions.
  • Give of yourself!  You may not have money, but everyone has something to give.  There are many organizations who reach out to the homeless and prepare meals for the poor.  Find an outlet.  Check on the internet or call some churches or the Salvation Army.
  • Focus on others!  It is very easy to focus only on yourself and what you are lacking.  Instead, look for opportunities to bless others, even in surprising ways!  Don’t just look for just the “big” opportunities, but take the initiative in small ways to touch someone’s life with your smile.
  • Make new traditions.  Invite a group of people over to play board games or to watch It’s a Wonderful Life.  Serve popcorn and fruit juice.  You don’t have to give something expensive or elaborate.  You can have fun without it being expensive.

My prayer for you:

Dear God, I ask you to touch the lives of those reading this.  Help them to realize the true importance of this Christmas Season, which is the celebration of Your Son, Jesus Christ.  I pray that each person would be able to find a peace in their heart and experience the joy in giving.  I pray you would help those who are lonely and depressed to have the inner strength to reach out to You and also others.  You say that when we do things “for the least of these,” we are doing something for You (Matthew 25:45).  So, let them find someone in need and encourage their lives. Help us all to be able to focus on what we can give, not what we don’t have.  I pray especially for those who are struggling with addictions and find the holidays to be especially challenging. Lord bring them inner strength and healthy outlets.  Help each one to find the way of escape during the moment of temptation.  Most of all, I pray that each person reading this would find the deepest joy they could ever imagine through You.  Not a joy that depends on circumstances or seasons of life, but the deep, deep joy that only You can give.  A joy that can remain in all seasons of life.  In the precious name of Jesus, amen.

Are you going through a difficult season?  Do you need help?   Please email me at tammy@freedom-connection.org .  I am here to help and encourage you.

Have you found ways to combat loneliness and depression?  I would love to hear from you!

 

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