Is it really? Or is it the loneliest time of the year? Or the saddest? Or the unhappiest? Christmases come and go and there have been years when there wasn’t enough money to buy the gifts that I wanted to buy. There was the year of the family home broken beyond repair. There were the years of loved ones recently passed and the years of estrangement from extended family who had once been close.
Stuff happens to change the dynamic of Christmas and can crush the idealistic dream of what it should be. I’ve been through a lot of changes in my life and, though I don’t really like change, I’ve learned that it doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
This year, for hubby and I, it is the first Christmas EVER that we won’t have any family with us over the holidays. Is that sad? Yes. Is it something to mourn and grow depressed over? Absolutely not!
I am thankful that I HAVE a husband to spend the day with. We will cook a good meal, watch old Christmas movies, and maybe go out in search of beautiful Christmas lights at night.
I am thankful that I have my family to love, and who love me in return, no matter how far away we will be from one another this Christmas.
I am thankful that instead of spending a lot of money on gifts for each other this year our family made the joint decision to bless others who are in need this Christmas.
I am thankful to have made new friends in this community, so far away from where we used to live. Enough new friends to have in for a Christmas With The Kranks Party the day after Christmas.
I am abundantly blessed (which in the Bible is the word makarios or a self contained happiness – happiness independent of circumstances) at this time in my life, but in my happy state I don’t mean to overlook or minimize anything you might be going through this year. Believe me, I feel for hurting hearts and I do understand the feeling of being so low that I thought I would never rise again.
All I have to offer you are the words, “I care about what you are going through.”
But God . . . He has much more to offer you in His Words. So here are some Scriptures that I hope will uplift you this Christmas season and bring to you the hope needed to push through to the change that is ahead. Because things do change, and when you are at the lowest of lows it is most times for the better!
- Psalm 34:18 (NIV) The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
- Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
- Psalms 55:22 (NIV) Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
- Romans 8:28 (NIV) And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
- Revelation 21:3-4 (NIV) And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
- Joshua 10:25 (NIV) Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.
- Prov 18:10 (NIV) The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
- Psalm 46:1-2 NIV God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.
- Psalm 55:22 NIV Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
- Psalm 118:14-28 NIV (A prophetic song of Jesus) The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things! The LORD’s right hand is lifted high; the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!” I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done. The LORD has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death. Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter. I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you. The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you.
And finally, Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. “Leave the broken, irreversible past in God’s hands, and step out into the invincible future with Him.”~ Oswald Chambers Click To Tweet
My prayer for you this Christmas is that, not matter what your outward circumstances, you will find joy in the celebration of our Savior’s birth. One of my friends said, let your presence be your present. God longs for your presence and for you to draw near to Him so He can meet every need of your heart.
I myself will be taking some time away from writing to enjoy the Season to the fullest but I look forward to “new things” to come for all of us in the New Year.
Abundant blessings to you dear, dear readers,
All photos taken in Boston, Massachusetts.
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