When Life is Hard at the Holidays

Life is HardIn the last two months I’ve lost misplaced two credit cards, unwittingly disposed of countless receipts, forgotten a handful of birthdays, left behind purchases at the store and been forced to reschedule my own doctor’s appointment three times because I’ve not had a full grasp of my schedule.  I’ve worked more hours than I can count in the last two months and can see and feel the toll.  In fact, I recently cut bangs after growing them out for two years and dyed my hair a darker shade of my natural color because I freaked over a handful of “sparklers” (gray) that appeared.  No stress response here.  Nope, none at all.  But really, who am I kidding?  And, can I be honest?  I’m tired.  Not exhausted but well on my way if things don’t change.  Life is hard right now and hard at the holidays is a reality I’m struggling with.

When Life is Hard

Hard looks like so many different things for so many different people.  Hard may look like celebrating the holidays with the noticeable absence of a loved one.  In fact, there are Mommas out there right now struggling with a special type of weariness that comes with loss and with mourning.  Perhaps you are contemplating what it means to sit in a quiet house after the kids are in bed, alone with memories of years past.

Maybe life is hard right now because you are dealing with a financial burden related to a job loss or other cause.  You’ve not had the luxury to think about presents and stockings because you are too worried about keeping the lights on and staying in your home for another month.  Momma, you are an expert at stretching the last dollar and figuring out how to buy a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread with the change in your pocket.

Hard also looks like a marriage on the brink, scarred and ruled by both bitterness and loneliness.  Whether it’s due to infidelity or addiction, your life is so very hard.  No longer able to see the possibility of something better, you’re just not sure you can take much more.

We all wear hardship differently.  For some it is a heavy cloak that envelops us, our own form gradually becoming indistinguishable from it’s weight. And yet for others, it chases us like the train of a wedding dress trailing behind a  bride.  We dance right and left trying to escape and yet it is always there.

Life is Hard

Refuse to Give in

It’s tempting when things get hard to crawl into bed and pull the cover of your head.  There is an allure to the whispers encouraging inaction, lulling you into a position of complacency and fatalism.  It’s easier to dive into a bowl of popcorn or a box of chocolates and in the other extreme run until the point of exhaustion than deal with what you’re feeling.

Momma, I promise you, nothing good comes from avoiding all the feels or from running away from them literally or figuratively.

When life is hard at the Holidays we must refuse to succumb to the hardship. Click To Tweet

Giving in to the hardship isn’t an option.  At least not a good one.  And, rolling over and playing dead doesn’t make it go away.  Hardship won’t walkaway disinterested when confronted with our submission.  To the contrary it will cover us and wait for further opportunity to expand it’s reach.  Hardship will wait for additional support because misery loves company.

Truth in the Midst of Trial

When we experience a period during which life is hard, it is easy to believe that things will never get better.  This is never more true than during the Holidays.  We  know that when we dwell on things those things can begin to consume us – the same is true of our response to hardship.

What about you?  Are you in season in which life is hard?  Do you find yourself struggling to understand how things will all come together?

Friend, may I speak truth over you?

Our God, your Heavenly Father, knows the state of your marriage, your finances, your children and your heart.  He knows that things aren’t going well at work and that you’re always looking for some new opportunity.  He knows about all the addictions, from food to alcohol and is not surprised by your struggles.  Not only is He unsurprised, but He beckons you closer.  He wants you to draw near.

In the midst of my hardship, God calls me to draw near. Click To Tweet

God reaches out to us through His Word and my favorite book to turn to in times of trial is the Psalms.  Just listen to what the Psalms tell us:

For he has not despised or scorned
    the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
    but has listened to his cry for help. (Psalm 22:24)

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

Record my misery;
    list my tears on your scrolla]”>[a]
    are they not in your record? (Psalm 56:8)

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live. (Psalm 116:1-2)

Life is hard

Friend, hardship is not evidence that God has abandoned you – no matter the season, no matter the trial.  Please dear sister, hang on to the truth of His Love for you; hang on to the truth that like any father He wants good things for you.  It is not His will for your life that you be dejected and down cast.  Let me leave you with this small prayer.

Father, thank you for being you.  Thank you for your presence in our lives, and thank you for the way you love us in spite of ourselves.  Today I lift up all those Mommas who are just too tired, too overwhelmed, too consumed with feelings of inadequacy and hurt.  I pray that as they read these words they would feel and know that they rest in your powerful, all capable hands.  Father, I pray that the peace that can only come from you would overtake them, that they would draw a deep breath and know that they can rest in you.

 

Father, the Christmas season is a time to celebrate, to spend time with family and to give thanks for all that you have blessed us with.  Comfort those who are mourning the loss of a loved one or the end of a relationship.  And encourage those who are in the midst of the battle of their lives for their marriage.  Give them the strength in your name to continue fighting for that relationship.

 

Lord, quiet their nerves and gentle their spirits.  Help them to be women of peace and of grace no matter their circumstances.  Fill them with the quiet confidence that comes from knowing that their story is not yet over and let them know just how great is your love them.  Father I pray that you would grow their trust and faith in you.  Please help them to find rest and peace no matter their circumstances.  Restore them Lord.

 

We pray these things in the precious name of Jesus.

Amen

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Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels!

Be there.

Julia

6 thoughts on “When Life is Hard at the Holidays

  1. Thanks for your post. Lost of wisdom for those of us who are in seasons of transition too. Sometimes it’s hard to keep that “stress response” from popping up. Appreciate your thoughts.

  2. I appreciate those groups of verses you shared. Being in a different country from my family I always have a hard time on holidays- especially American ones not celebrated in the country I live in. Anyway, thanks for this post!

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