It’s the most wonderful time of the year, except when it isn’t.
Everything about the season highlights your loss, whether it’s your first Christmas without your spouse or your twentieth. Decorating the tree, hanging the stockings, shopping for presents. It can all seem so void of joy, so lonely since you’re now doing these things without the other half of your heart. Everywhere you turn, there are happy families and laughing couples. It’s like a knife to the heart because it reminds you of how very lonely you are.
At night, it’s just you – you and your memories of what used to be and what won’t be in your future. It hurts your heart and you fall asleep each night on a tear-soaked pillow.
I’ve been there.
What do you do? How do you get through the holidays or any day when you find yourself so hopelessly alone?
In the past, you may never have had time for religion or church. Celebrating a baby at Christmas may not have made any sense before, but in the scene of the nativity, you can find beauty, healing, and eternal hope.
At the beginning of history, Adam and Eve believed a lie – that God was not for them and that they could do better. They disobeyed God’s only rule and the whole world became fallen and corrupt in a moment. As people, we can never be good enough to make our way to heaven on our own. It’s the reason we feel such a void in our life that we try to fill with other things – busy schedules, lucrative careers, alcohol, relationships. But this is the very reason God sent his son Jesus to this earth. That’s what we celebrate at Christmas. A baby in a manger means hope for the lost, the outcast, the downtrodden. Jesus came to redeem us, to love us, and to restore us. Because he eventually willingly went to the cross to pay the price for our wrong choices, we can have the hope of life forever with the God who created us simply by trusting in Him. If you trust in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior now, it won’t magically take away all of your pain, but he will walk this lonely road with you and he promises to always be with you.
The Bible tells us in Isaiah that Jesus himself was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. He knew what it was to like to lose, experience rejection, feel betrayal. He never promises that life will be easy, because it’s not. However, he does promise that he will be with us, and once our time on this earth is over, we will be with him forever in a place where there is no more pain or suffering.
And that’s something to look forward to this Christmas. When the pain and loneliness of the holidays sets in, remind yourself that Christmas is really pointing us to a hope and joy that’s bigger than this life, and that is something to celebrate. May your heart find peace this Christmas – not in rituals, traditions, or warm, fuzzy Hallmark movies – but in the only one who can truly give you peace, Jesus Christ.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
John 14:27 “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33