For many, the holiday season isn’t a happy time. Families and friends make great efforts and sacrifice to gather together in celebration. However, the holidays can trigger memories of past hurts, personal failures, losses and broken relationships.
The rest of the time people can successfully stuff these memories, but this time of year, they come rushing back, bringing deep depression, loneliness and hopelessness.
We ponder the marriage that could have been; the joy we could have if our loved one hadn’t died; how much we could bless others if we hadn’t lost our job…. Some of us long to be with family that are lost to us because of wrong choices.
Research says that most suicides occur during the holiday season. The sad part is that many of us are too caught up in the frenzy of activity to notice all the hurting people around us.
They are our co-workers, students and friends. You may not be aware that you could be a great source of emotional and mental stability… and hope.
God created us to need each other. He tells us that in at least 14 “one another” scriptures that emphasize the need and responsibility we have for each other. Here are just a few: Love one another; be kind to one another; pray for one another; be hospitable to one another; forgive one another; honor one another; prefer one another.
As people of God, here are some things to do to not lose hope…. whichever side of the fence we’re on.
1. Take another look. Reach out to someone who fits a category I mentioned and invite them to spend this holiday season with you and your family. It may save a life. At the very least you will help them through the toughest times. Don’t take no for an answer, because they will likely resist you, embarrassed to admit their need.
2. Get rid of preconceived ideas. If you’re the one who is alone, hurting or depressed, take the initiative to reach out. Ask someone you are close to if you can spend time with them this holiday season. They may be too busy with their own lives to notice your need. I guarantee they’ll apologize for not being sensitive enough to have asked you in the first place. Let go of the preconception that people don’t want or care about you, when in fact they really do!
3. Don’t be narrow-minded. God is the source of your life and wants to meet your needs. Allow Him to do it the way He wants, not the way you think He should or with the people you think He should. God will use unlikely people to bless you (or people you never wanted Him to use). You could be missing God’s blessings by being narrow-minded. Take another look before you say no to one person in order to say yes to someone else.
This holiday season, let’s not lose our hope. Let’s connect as the people of God as commanded in John 13:34, 35: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
We love to hear from you! If this blog post has been a blessing to you, please take a moment to let us know by commenting below.