It’s the most wonderful time of the year… or is it?
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” the song plays in the background and all I can think is that it doesn’t feel like the most wonderful time of the year.
Sitting in my living room, my home looks as chaotic as this world. Half filled moving boxes are stacked on one side, while our tree sparkles in the next. A table is filled with books for homeschooling while masks hang drying.
There is a heaviness in the air, not the usual joy and excitement of the season.
The pandemic has people divided. Racial tensions have people divided. Politics have people divided. Family relationships are strained. Finances are tight. The list goes on and on.
Not only has it been hard as a country but there have been some not so wonderful things in my own life.
Which leads me to ask, how do I enter this season of joy when my heart feels heavy and weary? How do I find joy when disappointments pile up by the second?
If you are nodding your head yes while reading, know you are not alone.
As I ponder this season, I recall two other not so great Christmas seasons.
One was when my husband was in the depths of depression and panic attacks. That season felt stripped of all joy as I tried to maintain a sense of normalcy for the kids.
Another was when we were walking through the emotional turmoil of the divorce of my parents. There were so many emotions and hard things to navigate during that time.
During these seasons, I felt similar feelings as I do now. I vividly remember driving and seeing the sparkly lights and festivities everywhere and feeling like I was outside looking in.
Just like today, it didn’t feel like the most wonderful time of the year.
As I type, I realize I do not have any magical answers but I do have some things that I learned through my other seasons and I’m working to apply them again.
Truths for When It Doesn’t Feel Like the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
It’s okay to not be okay.
Just because it is the season of cheer, it is okay to be struggling. Let yourself grief what was or what isn’t. Cry it out. Talk it out. Acknowledge that there are going to be valleys and there will be mountain top moments again.
Empathy is key.
Our entire world is suffering in one way or another because of the pandemic. There are also other personal struggles going on. Give others grace and love. A simple smile goes a long way.
Count the good.
I am a firm believer in gratitude being a soothing balm to the weary heart. In my darkest seasons, making a list of what was good helped me to remember God was working in the midst of it all. Start today with a list of what has been good.
Keep our eyes focused on the real reason for the season.
Jesus is the answer to our weary hearts. He is the Savior of the world. When we fix our eyes on this, we realize life here was never meant to be struggle free. If it was, we would never see our need for a Savior.
These four truths may not take away the emotions of the season, but they do help us get our eyes off the temporary and onto the eternal.
It doesn’t feel like the most wonderful time of the year but God remains the same. There is the birth of Jesus to be celebrated. When we fix our eyes on Him, we see that even when the world is falling apart it can be the most wonderful time of the year. He is our magical answer. We will still grieve. We will still mourn what is gone. But we have a hope that brings unexplainable joy.
Perhaps it is the most wonderful time of the year when I adjust my eyes to the truth.
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