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Photo by Volkan Olmez on Unsplash

I had a nice Christmas series partly written and ready to go for this week. It had nice photos. But it was so far from where I am this Christmas that I am going to have to scrap it. I won’t be writing a fun Christmas series this year. Whatever gets written will be from the heart…and it will be for people who are deeply hurting and in pain.

Today is a gloomy, dark, rainy day in December. I’m thinking about what Advent means for me today as my heart reflects the kind of day it is. This weekend, my spirit slumped to a new low as I sit in a very dark hole.

Today is a gloomy, dark, rainy day in December. I'm thinking about what Advent means for me today as my heart reflects the kind of day it is. Click To Tweet

That just happens to be where I am this year. I can’t even go into detail on the story. There are too many layers and not all the layers are my story to tell. I do know that I am not unique in this position. That’s why I am not going to write a cheerful series. You can find them everywhere. If you are where I am, they won’t do you any good.

If you are not in my situation, or you think I’m being a grinch, just move on. This is not the post for you to read today. There are others who need to read it.

The message of Christmas is for people like us at Christmases like this. Fortunately, not all Christmases are the same.

I do believe the message of Christmas is for people like us who are having a hard Christmas. Have you recently received bad news? Have you recently lost a loved one…or is the loss imminent? Is this the anniversary of past losses that are coming back to haunt you? Have you become aware of your failure and inadequacy at new levels that make you sad and almost sick? Maybe there are some combinations of the above. Then the true message of Christmas is for you (and me) even though all you can see is darkness, failure, sadness, and gloom.

I do believe the message of Christmas is for people like us who are having a hard Christmas. Click To Tweet

Personally, I have had a knot in the pit of my stomach and a non-stop headache for days. I’m not sure how sadness and grief affect you. Watching people around you be happy and cheerful…or fake it, is just more distressing.

So what do we do? I have been trying to remind myself of the Gospel that I have been talking about often in this spot. It helps, but it is feeling like I am repeating words over and over. I know they are true words. I think they will sink in soon.

  • Your righteousness is in Christ. It is secure. There is nothing you can do to earn it. You don’t have to fight to keep it.  Galatians 2:21 ESV, Isaiah 64:6 ESV
  • As a Christian, You are now a son or daughter with status. You are not an orphan who has to fend for yourself. Your heavenly Father loves you and has provided all you need to care for you.  Romans 8:32 ESV, II Peter 1:3 ESV

I used to wonder why the Psalms were so often random…bouncing from asking GOD what He was doing, being angry with Him to trusting in Him? I’m getting it. Grieving brain is crazy. It is moving a million miles an hour. It is trying to make sense of all that is happening. It is feeling anger, sadness, faith, and a million other feelings all at once. It can only put them into words one at a time. Let’s face it, the Psalms are expressions of emotion pure and simple, but faith shows up there. It is not the faith of stoics, but that of people who feel and question, of those who struggle with GOD!

That is what my prayers sound like. They are so random and wild. At one moment, I think I know how to pray, the next, I am contradicting myself and have no idea!

To know that Immanuel, GOD with us, is not just a message for Christmas, it is a truth for everyday that is comforting.

Right now, I am in a dark hole. The message of Immanuel, GOD with us, is very comforting. It isn’t just for this time of year. To know he was willing, not only to leave the glories of heaven to come to earth for my sin, but is also willing to come to my dark hole to be with me in it? That is comforting too. I don’t want others to see me like this. I go out of my way to show my happy side to people. But He knows the depths of my pain better than I do. He knows the tangles of that knot in my stomach, that knot in my neck that I can hardly face untangling myself.

The message of Immanuel, GOD with us, is very comforting.To know he was willing, not only to leave the glories of heaven to come to earth for my sin, but is also willing to come to my dark hole to be with me in it? Click To Tweet

I don’t want people to be pulled down when they are around me. That goes for my family and friends. I have friends that know that side of me for sure! But who wants to be hanging out with a sad, gloomy old woman? Exactly! It’s my job to comfort and encourage. I don’t want to drag everyone down with me when I experience times like this. It’s not that I’m dishonest with everyone. I’m just not telling all the truth.

This past Sunday, I was introduced to a beautiful song by Chris Rice. It isn’t very new. It’s just that I had never heard it. The last verse is gold. I’d like to share it with you today as I close this disjointed post. Sunday, the song couldn’t have come at a better time.

This post was written almost exactly 2 years ago in 2017. I’m sharing it for those of you who are having a difficult Christmas season. Ours this year isn’t nearly as sad as that one was. But I know what it is like to have hard Christmases and have everyone around you singing happy songs. Please don’t read this post without following up with the one that is coming on Friday. That one is much more encouraging.

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You’ve been promised, we’ve been waiting
Welcome, Holy Child
Welcome, Holy Child

Hope that You don’t mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long-awaited, Holy Stranger
Make Yourself at home
Please make Yourself at home

Bring Your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking heaven’s silence
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God
Perfect Son of God

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