Blogger: Christina Holt
Christmastime is full of memories and traditions we want to hold on to, it’s full of warmth from the fire or from the company of family and friends, it’s full of snow in some places and sunburns in others, and it’s full of matching Christmas pajamas with an entire day of laziness. What might be the most wonderful time of the year for some, could actually be the most lonely time of the year for others. For me, Christmas holds those warm and fuzzy feelings but also holds the heavy weight of pain and loneliness. Maybe this is your first Christmas with the kids out of the house, or maybe the dream you had for your marriage or relationship didn’t work out the way you planned and Christmas looks a lot different for you this year. I want you to know something this Christmas; you’re not alone.
In Matthew 28, Jesus says “I am with you always, even to the end of age.” He makes us a promise that no matter what we go through and no matter what we’re facing in this life, his presence is always with us. So, whether this be your first Christmas, or this has been your reality for a while, you can find comfort by reminding yourself of the promise he makes us in this scripture.
“I am with you always, even to the end of age”
Earlier I mentioned Christmastime holding both happiness and loneliness in my life. Christmas 2014 was one of those christmases I didn’t want to celebrate. What was once filled with childlike anticipation quickly turned into total avoidance. Only a few months earlier, I was already Christmas shopping and planning new family traditions as a family of three. My reality though? I would be celebrating Christmas as a family of two. Within those few months, at 24, I had become a widow and single mother. Loneliness was screaming at its loudest.
I wanted someone to feel what I was feeling. I wanted someone to understand. I wanted someone to take it all away, but how could they? This was my new reality and it wasn’t something any person could fix or change. And even though people couldn’t change what I was walking through, God used community to see me through. When my loneliness wanted to define me, the Holy Spirit was there to refine me. I realized it was in these moments where the presence of Jesus met me right where I was and helped me overcome my feelings. It was in these moments, where His word empowered me to think His way and not my own. It was in these moments where I realized I really wasn’t alone; and friends, neither are you.
“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ” Galations 6:2
I love what Paul writes in this scripture because it reiterates Jesus’s greatest commandment, to love one another as He has loved us (John 13:34-35).
Maybe you’re reading this today and you find yourself full of Christmas spirit. I want to encourage you to find someone to share that spirit with. Go out of your way to show people they are loved and cared for by you. Maybe it’s an individual or an entire family, invite them into some of your family traditions or activities. Even something as simple as taking them out for coffee or bringing them a meal can have a huge impact in their life this Christmas.
Maybe you’re the one going through a lonely time this season. Again, from the deepest part of who I am, I know what it feels like, and I want you to know you’re not alone. Will you do something for me? Will you make a promise to yourself?
Promise to do these three things:
1. Spend time with Jesus by reading his word – it makes a difference in your alone time.
2. Reach out to someone – don’t isolate, but rather communicate! Choose to say yes and be in community with others.
3. Repeat 1 and 2.
As you take these steps, you will find that your own spirit will be lifted. You will be amazed at the difference in how you see and do the things you once found so hard. Allow the true spirit of Christmas to embrace you, as you embrace it this season.