We have come to that time of year again – December 31st!
For many people, this is a time to reflect on the past year. Memories are often front and centre on this day as we come to an end of the final page of this chapter in our lives. We think about all the good times we had, and even the painful ones we encountered. Sometimes there were a lot of struggles that were endured, missed opportunities, and many tears. Other times consisted of successful accomplishments, happy tears, and lots of laughter.
On this day, we look to the future and wonder what the next year will hold for us. We hope for good things, and that nothing bad will come our way. We make plans, we makes lists, and we wonder and dream of what’s to come.
As we embark on a new year, 2019, I wish you all the best and pray that this will be the year for you to grow stronger, and deeper, in your relationship with Christ, that you will seek him with your whole heart.
As we leave 2018 behind, grab hold of Jesus’ hand and move forward with Him by your side.
It’s Christmas Eve today, and like most homes at this time of year, we have had our Christmas tree up for awhile. The colourful lights glowing, decorations hanging, and the angel watching over everything. The top section of our artificial tree is leaning some, because the part it’s stuck into has a piece broken off causing the top portion to not stand up straight. I’m reluctant to give up this tree and get a new one.
This tree belonged to my mom. And when I look at it, I think of her. Usually my thoughts are happy and pleasant, but in all honesty, sometimes I feel sad.
I have always struggled
at Christmas with my emotions for as long as I can remember. I
vacillate between feeling happy and cheerful, and depressed and
I remember feeling depressed many times when I was young (though at the time I don’t think I was aware that was what I was experiencing) and telling my parents I didn’t want anything for Christmas, because I didn’t deserve it. There were times when I would plaster on a smile, because that is what we are supposed to do at Christmas. It’s a joyful time of year, after all!
In my adult years, I have struggled with the thoughts that present themselves in my mind when I hear others trying to help with comments of “Cheer up!” or “It could always be worse. There are others who are in far more serious situations.” And, while I know people mean well and are trying to be helpful, they really aren’t. Not when my depression has made an appearance. Sometimes I just have to ride it out.
There were lots of silent, hidden tears shed at Christmas in my past. But, I am thankful that the last few Christmases have been great – no tears, no feelings of not deserving, no depression.
In all honesty, there
are a number of things that have helped me with this – my
medication, having a loving husband who is very understanding and
supportive, changing my attitudes and thoughts, and most of all, the
love of a Saviour who was born to die and give me eternal life.
Christmas is not about the presents, the tree, the lights or decorations. Christmas is about celebrating the birth of the Messiah, Jesus. And if depression is something you deal with, particularly at Christmas, please don’t suffer in silence. You aren’t alone in this, and your struggle is real. Reach out to someone, take your meds (if you are on them; if not talk to your doctor), don’t isolate yourself. Reach out to the Lord; ultimately, He is the only one who can help you overcome this.
And, I pray that this Christmas, you can feel the joy that only He can give you.