As we prepare to celebrate Christmas and revel in the Holidays, I’m taking a moment to speak to those who are hurting in heartbreaking silence. I want to encourage you to have hope during this time of the year and every day.
Whether suffering from loneliness, heartbreak, or maybe you’ve lost a loved one around the holidays, the feeling of loss can be lonely, devastating, and sometimes debilitating. Everyone is singing songs, sharing gifts, and exchanging the warmest embraces. (Although not much embracing is taking place in 2020 due to a global pandemic.) You’re supposed to feel joyful, and yet there is sadness in your soul. I want you to know that I can relate to the hurt you feel.
My beloved grandmother, who helped raise me and spoiled me growing up, passed away a month before Christmas. I suffered a massive stroke three days before the 4th of July and a few weeks before my 44th birthday. My grandfather passed away on Mother’s Day. The love of my life called off our impending marriage a year after getting engaged at Christmas.
For years, Christmas and the holidays are reminders of loss and pain for me at times. The hurt of losing my father only four months ago has released a pain inside me that is hard to express.
The pain of losing close friendships, beloved girlfriends, and those dearest to my family was sometimes overwhelming. It never took much prompting to release heartfelt tears during the holidays. Whether it was a stirring movie, a poignant song, or an unexpected kind word from someone. Pretty much every Christmas since I was engaged at 20 years old, I longed for someone to share Christmas with. This year, forced to shelter in place in the midst of a global pandemic, has definitely challenged my sanity at times.
However, with God’s help, I have humbly realized that someone has been there all along, loving me, caring for, and protecting me. I’ve shared in my books about my stroke recovery and the bible verse my mother quoted in the hospital as I awakened from the stroke. It has become a lifeline and one of my “core” bible verses from now on. It is Jeremiah 29:11.
For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, plans to give you a future and a hope.
Holidays can be Hopeful!
HOPE…God wants to give us hope. What an amazing thought. God has a plan for your life. Just think about it; the God who created the universe wants to give you HOPE!
Whether you are hurting yourself or want to offer comfort for someone hurting, I want to share with you 7 things to help you embrace hope and not hurt during the holidays.
God loves you. Take a moment and think about that. We celebrate Christ’s birth at Christmas. We share the stories of the shepherds and the three wise men. Those stories are beautiful, but Jesus came to die for us! He was not surprised by the events leading up to His crucifixion. He sacrificed His life for you and me!
Hope does not disappoint, because the LOVE OF GOD has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5
God Created You
In the hospital, God revealed to me that He created me for a reason. God chose us to become part of His family so we can glorify Him in our words and actions. “We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works.” Ephesians 2:10. God has empowered us to let others see the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace ,patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
We need God’s help for these fruits to grow bountifully in our lives because it is so difficult in our own strength.
Holiday Pain will Pass.
Your Pain is temporary. I do not want to minimize what you feel and be insensitive here because pain is real! I’ve experienced extreme physical and emotional pain but listen to what God tells us in Peter’s first chapter.
After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will himself perfect, confirm, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10
As believers, our pain and suffering are temporary. God is using our pain for His purpose. We may feel like we are under attack and that the hurt will not go away. Know that God is molding us via the pain to perfect our faith as we seek to live for Him!
Since we know that God loves us, He created us for a purpose, and our pain is temporary; Here are a few things we can DO to elevate our hope and eliminate the hurt that we sometimes feel, especially at the holidays.
- Don’t Isolate Yourself– Don’t be afraid to be around people during the holidays. Step out of your comfort zone. Be around those who love and support you. I went to my first candlelight service on Christmas Eve. It was AMAZING! I felt so close to God, and my spirit was reminded of how loved and blessed I am. (Because of the pandemic, I may be forced to Zoom or face time this Christmas, but I will do my best to interact with loved ones.)
- Do Something to Help Someone– Ask God to show you how you can help someone not just during the holidays but every day. Many days I pray for Him to show me how He can use me to bless someone. You will be inspired when your focus is on someone else, and the joy you experience when helping others is indescribable!
- Develop New Friendships– This is difficult for me as I am somewhat introverted (at least until I get to know you). Since I began blogging and writing, it has been such a blessing to meet amazing writers and bloggers, some I consider dear friends. We encourage, advise, and pray for each other as well. I also joined a new Sunday School class. Everyone’s teaching and interaction in the class inspired me to dig deeper into God’s word and discern what God wants to say to me.
- Comfort Others–Take what you learn in your times of hurt and use it to comfort others. “God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those that are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. God gives us comfort when we are hurting so we can comfort others when needed.
Friends, I’m an experienced traveler on the lonely road of pain and heartache. However, I want you to know you can get off that road and travel a new path! A path that God is waiting for you to join Him on and a path full of hope because you remember who you are in Him! Be well, friend.
Horace Williams Jr.
It is amazing how God prepared me to write my next book on pain and suffering five years ago. The book offers hope and encouragement to many of those who have read. Challenging readers to look deep within and see what God wants to accomplish in their life-even in their pain. If you’d like to learn more, you can get a copy of this book endorsed by Sheila Walsh by clicking on the image below. I pray you are encouraged as you read. Have a blessed holiday season!