December can be hard, can’t it?
This year, I am handling it so much better than I have in YEARS. In the past I have dreaded the Christmas season starting in October. By the time December rolled around I was a mess, ready to crawl in a closet, crying at the drop of a hat. By Christmas day, I was not fit to be around people. The pressure I put on myself, the constant large parties and gatherings of people, the commercial nightmare of it all, Santa (not a fan), the shorter days and bleak skies, all of it rolled me into a ball of jangled nerves and depression soaked pores. I detest gifts. I am getting WAY better though, for the first time ever, I have enjoyed finding things. I still am not good at receiving. It is not that I don’t want to show love and appreciation, it is the stress of it, guilt, perfectionism, etc. And most of it goes back to my issues with depression.
So between some lovely little happy pills, journaling and prayer, and bi-weekly visits to the fake sun I am dealing this year! So far no tangled tinsel. See this post.
And then there all of you coping with the sadness and stress of: illness, death, lost jobs, bills, divorces, broken relationships, bullying, and other forms of broken-ness. Everywhere you look people are proclaiming it the best season, most wonderful season, of year. Bah. So many of you are where I usually am…crying, looking for hope, wanting to hide away for the season. You have questions about why something has happened, or maybe not happened. You miss loved ones. It all seems different, strange, wrong.
People close understand, but in some ways not. They think we should be able to put it aside and still enjoy the holidays. Slap on a happy face until you really enjoy it. That is not nearly as easy as it sounds. Because the harder you try to do it on your own, the harder it gets.
Notice that three sentence paragraph up there. I am getting some outside help. I was able to give God those burdens and He lightened my soul. I thank Him each morning for the happy pills, for giving me the strength to admit my body needs the help. I thank Him each day for His words of comfort in the Bible and his grace, that though I might flounder that day He will always love and walk with me with forgiveness for my shortcomings no matter the season. I thank Him for encouraging me to let it all spill onto paper in color and words.
I hope that you are able to find hope and peace in God’s words. I pray that you are able to hand over some of the burdens and let Him carry you. Start small–give up not the BIG thing, but all of the other things that annoy you, remind you, frighten you–whether it be driving and traffic or deciding what to make for dinner–start small and give them away. Think of it as filling God’s stocking–little stuffers to keep Him happy until you can unwrap the BIG thing and hand it over. Thank Him for lightening your burden. Thank Him for the grace to get through the day. Thank Him for the peace to sleep and rest. Start small, but start. And the more you hand over the lighter you will feel.