Wednesday, December 6, 2023

When Christmas is Hard

By: Jenifer Metzger

Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. I love all holidays and Christmas has always been placed at the very top of that list. Until four years ago.

In the early hours of Christmas morning 2019, my phone rang, waking me from my sleep. A phone call at this hour is never good. I saw my mom's name flash across the screen and said a sleepy, "Hello?" She uttered two words that have forever changed my life. "It's Papa." I jumped from bed screaming, waking the household. We raced to my grandparents home and when we arrived, I jumped from the car before my husband even stopped. As I ran inside, my dad met me at the door and with unfallen tears pooling in his eyes, he shook his head.

When Christmas Is Hard #Christmas #grief #pain #sadness

Life has not been the same. Since that sorrowful day, we also lost my Mamaw two years ago. She passed on Halloween, and while I do not celebrate Halloween in any way, it was just one more holiday that "stole" my grandparents from me. My grandparents were my best friends, my biggest cheerleaders, and my strongest prayer warriors. Losing them has been one of the absolute hardest things of my life.

I have come to dread holidays, especially Christmas, a day that was spent with family, love, and laughter. It is full of grief for my grandparents, guilt for being the last person to see my Papa alive ("what could I have done differently" replays in my mind regularly), sadness over our family dynamic changing so drastically, and pain.

Each year I try to get in the Christmas spirit, and some days I do okay, even enjoy the season. Other days, however, I just want to crawl into bed and not come out until January 1st.

The other day, while having a particularly hard day, I opened Instagram and a Reel popped up from Jess Connolly. She said, "Isn't that the best place to kick the enemy in the teeth and say that Jesus came for even this?" Tears immediately fell from my eyes. As I continued to listen, Jess said, "He came to wipe every tear so that grief will not be the final story." Not my final story.

The deep grief I feel, the depression that is continually lurking around the corner, that is why Jesus came. He came to save us from our sins, but He also came to heal our broken hearts. He came to give us life.

... I have come so that they may
have life and have it in abundance.
John 10:10

Friend, the deep grief you feel, the depression lurking around your own corner, the pain, the loneliness, the shame, the guilt, the sadness, the anger, the bitterness, He came for that too. He came so you could have life abundantly.

I know Christmas can be hard. I get it. I feel it too. Hearing the cheerful music and seeing the colorful decorations can hurt our hearts, but instead of seeing the holiday as a threat to our sanity, we can see it as a miracle because that is exactly what it is. We can celebrate through the pain because Jesus came to take away our pain and heal what breaks us.

If Christmas is hard for you too, I pray that you would turn the pain over to the very One who came to give us this day. The One who came give us life and wipe our tears. Sister, He is there for you. Reach out your hand and grasp onto Him. Sit in His presence and let the Comforter comfort you.

1. Is Christmas hard for you at times? Are you able to recognize why?
2. What do you do when Christmas gets hard?
3. How can we pray for you during this time?

1 comment:

  1. Jenifer, the holidays can be hard for so many for varied reasons. Thank you for taking your own grief and turning it to encourage others. "Grief will not be our final story." What hope we can find in those very words. May God encourage you and fill you with His light and joy.


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