Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Not So Cheerful During the Holiday Season

It’s almost Christmas, just a few days away and I find myself fighting a war inside my head as I seek peace and joy. It’s been a very difficult time, almost comical if it weren’t my own life. At times I’m grateful for the blessings that God is bringing to my family, such as a new job for my husband, a successful surgery to remove cancer from a loved one and three thriving sons; yet there has been significant pain, such as the unexpected death of a close friend, unsuccessful job search for myself and financial challenges that seem hard to overcome.

I search for peace and I’m grateful when it comes, wrapping myself in it like a warm blanket. Yet it feels so fleeting at times. I panic, I think the worst is coming. My imagination goes into overdrive and I start to experience pain for events that haven’t even occurred yet. Then I experience pain for what has occurred.

There’s a lot of pressure during the holiday season to be “gleeful,” but this season of my life feels bittersweet. I just wish I could fast forward this season and not feel the pressure to be so cheerful. I find it hard attending holiday parties and trying to answer the question, “How are you?” I usually respond, “Doing good.” When instead I want to talk at length about how hard things are or how scared I am for the future. But I don’t want to burden others or come across as a “debbie downer”. So I fake it with a smile and pretend like everything is just fine.

I wish I could curl up on the couch with a pile of junk food and binge watch Gilmore Girls and escape all the hard stuff in my life right now.

Better yet, I wish we had a Christmas miracle to take these challenges away.

But I know that there is only one thing that will truly work and that is putting my trust in God. It isn’t easily maintained, so I have to choose to do it daily, sometimes hourly. I have to trust that God can handle it all, that He is big enough to take us over these mountains and that He can hold us when we grieve.

I have to let my faith be bigger than my fears, as a dear friend reminded me.

I admit I’m terrible at it, yet I know that it’s a truth I have to hold onto.
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. —Jeremiah 29:11


  1. Hold onto your moments, look for love. I hear you and I suffer too and who am I if not another child of G-d? I am not merry during the holidays--I'm terrified of drunk drivers and I avoid crowds and I "fake smile" so much my face hurts and I worry and worry and mourn and mourn, but I listen for people like you--calling out to me with all their love. I love you back. I hear you. Blessings.

    1. You are so right, "hold onto moments and look for love". It really is surrounding us. And the moments can be nuggets of happiness that make it all worth it! Bless you!

  2. I very much understand what you are saying. Praying for you and yours. Paula

  3. Lots of Love surrounds you and may it also keep you at peace.

  4. My 22 yr old son has battled mental demons since he was 6 yrs old. Anger, anxiety, severe ocd, and now depression. My life has been put on hold these past years tending to him. Holidays are never peaceful or happy. Faking smiles to friends. Pretending to have a somewhat normal life. Many days I wish he had a physical rather than a mental aliment.