Thursday, December 22, 2022

Are You Struggling This Week?

Thursday, December 22, 2022

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. 1 John 15:11

Are You Struggling This Week? 

Maybe you are struggling to get it “all” done before Christmas while juggling small children, babies, wrapping, company, and the overwhelming urge for it to all be perfect. 

Or are you dealing with heartache that you are pushing away again and again because it is Christmas and that adds a whole new level of pain? It is supposed to be such a happy time and no matter how hard you try you just can’t feel it. The damper of all that lies beneath covers over like a black cloud of smoke you can’t find your way out of. 

Unfortunately all the heavy stuff we are carrying doesn’t disappear for Christmas. In fact, the season magnifieseverything we are feeling, good and bad. We have to wade through all the cheer of the season feeling like we might not be able to make it one more step, hoping that some of the holly jolly everyone else is feeling will rub off on us, at least for a while. But no matter how hard you try, it doesn’t happen. 

This is the time of the year that we try so hard to focus on the hope, love, peace, and joy around the birth of Jesus. It is so hard to truly enjoy the Christmas season when there is chaos churning in our hearts. I just want you to know that you are seen by a Heavenly Father that loves you and cares. He knows what you are carrying and trying to deal with and trying to suppress just so you can get through this week. 

Just know someone cares for you and understands.

It's so hard to cover up those feelings, and you can only do it for so long. Especially in a season like Christmas that, in itself, provokes so many other feelings. You can stuff it, deny it, numb yourself to it, and ignore it, but I promise you that, at some point, you will feel it. It is like a holding a beach ball under the water. Eventually it will explode to the surface. There will come a point where you cannot deny, ignore, numb it, or stuff it anymore. There is no way through it but to sit in it and feel it.  

All that to say, it can be really hard to feel the joy with all that going on. In fact, it feels impossible, but it is not. Even when there is turmoil in our lives, we can experience joy, but beware – Joy never feels more in your face than when you cannot feel it in your heart. It is possible to have an underlying, unshakable joy and still experience sadness. True joy in Him can be present, even if we do not feel it. It doesn’t disappear when things get turned upside down, and though we may lose our footing and fall apart for a moment, it is still there. It is not something we have to go in search of again. If we find our joy in Christ, it is a constant. Other emotions will come and go but we can hold tight to the joy we find in Him. Laughter through tears is a real thing and sometimes it even feels very good. 

If you are struggling this week, know that there is comfort and peace in Him. And the image of that tiny baby in the manger – priceless gift to all – He longs to be all we need. Try focusing on Him and what this week is really about. Give Him the gift of your heartbreak. Yes the gift! Bring it to the baby in the manger and let Him have it. He is capable, He cares, and He absolutely longs to take our burdens from us – lifted off of us completely - so that the joy found in Him can come once again to the surface. 

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