By Alanna Burtis | Guest Blogger
Photo credit | Of Hearth and Home
I have been hearing this question a lot throughout these few weeks: How do I get through Christmas when everything around me is not joyful? You see everyone else get in the holiday spirit but there is just no way you can even fathom trying to enjoy your Christmas when you know it’s not going to be the best.
I know what it is like. For a couple of years I would receive lotion and perfume for Christmas because that was all my family could afford. Yet, all my friends around me received the newest iPhone and would have hundreds of dollars to buy new clothes. One Christmas I didn’t even spend it with my family because my faith was different from my family and I was uncomfortable to be in an environment where I did not feel welcome. Do you have an eating disorder? I know all too well the anticipation and anxiety I would get just thinking about sitting down at a dinner table with those who are supposed to be the ones closest to me, but I would sit there in tremendous sorrow and grab a spoonful of green bean casserole and that was it. I know what it is like to lose someone you love just before the holiday season, my family is going through a loss, as we lost Pop last Tuesday. I know what it is like to not spend Christmas with the man you want to spend it with, how hard it is not to have a dad there and then sometimes being envious of those who do have a dad. I know what it is like to not be happy during the holiday season. But it is okay. We have Someone far bigger than our small situations down here.
Jesus was born in the midst of absolute chaos. There was a war about to break with the government. Mary, oh sweet Mary was just a teenager; virgin and pregnant with a miracle baby on the way. And when it was time for Jesus to be born, He was not born in a grand ole’ situation, He was born in a dirty manger where animals were kept. And no one at all expected this grand gift to be born in this setting, as they were thinking something grand and beautiful must happen for baby Jesus. Even their expectations were wrong and this is how we can relate to those two thousand years ago.
We want the most amazing, joyful, carefree, all-loving Christmas we could possibly get. But, what we think we should have is not what God had intended for anyone. Not even you. Trust me, Jesus and His gift of salvation, forgiving you for all of your sins, and you having a spot in Heaven is far greater than having one perfect Christmas. Without Jesus we would not have that offering, we would not have hope or have the One to direct us to where we are meant to go.
Our situations down here on Earth will always change. There will be times of deep grief, suffering, trials, and the occasional steady times of amazing seasons along with joy and happiness. But if we did not get to go through the dirt in our lives, would we ever take a look back on that suffering once we are in a place of steadiness? No. The bad stuff is used when the good stuff comes. When all we have prayed for and hoped for comes to our lives that is when we can see God, look back at where we just were and believe there is indeed Someone who loves us immensely, more than we could ever possibly imagine.
Every ounce of pain is used, if you let it be. So do not think this hard time you are going through will not be used for God’s glory, because it will.
And, I have found: the most powerful moments in my faith happened when I had the opportunity to look back and see that God was faithful through it all.
Do not give up. Keep praying. Keep searching. Keep believing. Keep hoping.
Soon, you will look back and see His Face in a light you have never seen before.
That to you, will be a miracle.
P.S. You are enough.