Sometimes Holidays Aren't Jolly

I don't have a specific point for this post except to let whoever may be reading know: whatever you need to do to get through the holidays is what you should do. 

I know that it seems odd to have to give ourselves permission to authentically feel the ups and downs of life. But, when the world is blaring "may your days be merry and bright" and you feel nothing of the can be a good reminder. Sometimes there are seasons of our lives so full of pain that the last thing we want is to fake emotion for the sake of holiday expectations. 

You may be experiencing a new lonely that leaves you anxious under the weight of hopes that you wished had been met, but weren't. You may be processing a reality that you never dreamed would be yours. You may feel silly attempting to create the perfect holiday, but you just can't deal with one more gloomy day. Whatever feelings you may be experiencing this year, please trust that you are not alone.

I feel that too often we are forced to act in ways that we don't want to in order to meet someone's expectation that we are "fine".

It's okay not to be okay. 

If the thought of going to a traditional gathering hurts, don't go.

If the idea of decorating a tree feels is daunting with heaviness of your current reality, don't decorate. 

If you want to go to Target and buy thirty candles to light for a loved one that's gone and everyone else seems to be forgetting, do it. 

If you want frozen pizza at home instead of ham at your Grandma's, stay in. 

If you are regularly disrespected by a toxic relative so you want to visit a friend this year instead, go be with your friend.

If you feel like decorating your house from top to bottom and baking dozens of cookies while blaring Christmas music, do it

The word family doesn't make you a doormat. The number of years spent in a relationship doesn't make you a punching bag.

You don't have to fake happiness for the comfort of others. 
The people who truly love and respect you will give you space to do what you need and process what you are going through. 

I know that joy will come. But, if for whatever reason you need lament this week and beyond..then please, lament. I believe that we serve a God who doesn't want you to fake emotions. He wants to be your comfort. He cares for you and is ready to listen if you are ready to talk. 

LM ACTION: Last year was a particularly hard Christmas season for my husband and I. The last five months of 2017 were very stressful. I remember the people who loved us when we needed to just be with our four walls family and supported us as we found our new normal.

I spent much of that time meditating on the book of Psalms. This verse was one of my favorites: Hear my prayer, O LORD! And let my cry for help come to You. Do not hide Your face from me in the day of my distress; Incline Your ear to me; In the day when I call answer me quickly. Psalm 102:1-2

-- Cayla

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