When the Holidays are Hard

Sitting at my computer with my daughter Jada right beside me, I held out my leg, scratching uncontrollably, for her to see. “Look, I have something on me … what is it?”  Jada leaned over and ran her fingers over my leg and answered with the authority of a child, “I don’t know mom, but whatever it is you can put it on me.”

Her words immediately hugged my heart. Here is why. It was very obvious that whatever irritated my skin was very painful. I was scratching as if I had a scratch off ticket on my leg with a six million dollar prize, except I didn’t use a dime.  However, my child was willing to protect my tender skin from harm and bear the brunt of my suffering. What an example!

I sat at the computer, sighed, and my salty tears rolled down my cheeks. At that moment, I realized my daughter’s words pointed to what Jesus Christ did for us. He bore the burden of our pain and understands it firsthand (Heb 4:15). He is our protector.

I have to admit, recently I have been fixated on all of the Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram holiday shopping trips, newly engaged couples, gifts wrapped under trees, and friends gathering. Then, I look at my life. These images may not cause me to scratch my leg, but they definitely cause me to scratch at my soul.

The “must-be-nice” thoughts skirt around in my head. I begin to think that my holiday season seems less than because I start the dreadful sin of comparison and my festive spirit drips like a leaking faucet.

Don’t hear me wrong – I love Christmas. It is a wonderful and joyful time when friends and family gather. We celebrate the birth of our Savior. Memories are created. Board game champions are born; however, this has been a rough season. I along with many people have suffered loss: relationally, spiritually, financially, and physically.

Unfortunately, these things become all the more evident during the holidays. My close friend is grieving an unexpected medical diagnosis of her mom. One is facing uncertainty concerning her future and desperately seeking answers. Another facing a nasty divorce. Another, the sadness of having to split her kids during the holiday season. And I am healing from the emotional pain of a broken relationship.

You may be wondering, How is it possible to be all Christmassy when my heart is hurting? When my ex is getting remarried? When the Christmas bonus has to pay a bill? When I am seeking employment? Simple: by putting your complete trust in God and His word.

Friends, I believe the pain we experience today is directly related to a message we will teach and use to inspire others in overcoming whatever challenges they may be facing in their life tomorrow.

I want to encourage you today to relinquish whatever has shaken your world and put it on God (1 Peter 5:10). He can handle it. His word will do more than scratch the surface – it will strike your soul. It will bind your wounds. It will give you hope. It will change your perspective.

When the holidays are hard, remember this, what we focus on we magnify. Let’s not focus on what we have lost, but focus on what’s left. Many things may change and familiar things may fade; but God remains the same (Hebrews 13:8).

About Natalie Mott   

Hey Y’all! My name is Natalie! I am a speaker, novice writer and a single mom to a delightful 16 –year old girl. I crave all things Jesus just like my favorite desert – pound cake, whipped cream, strawberries and ice cream. I can literally eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I also freestyle dance in my work cubicle, grocery stores or wherever music is playing on the overhead. My passion is to empower women to think deeply, examine their hearts and grow in a loving relationship with Jesus Christ. https://cravingallthingsjesus.wordpress.com/