At least once, everyone experiences a holiday where they are hurting. Last year was mine. I spent a lot of time trying to put a smile on my face and walk boldly forward. And it worked…for about 2 minutes.
My husband and I both have large families, so over the years, we’ve witnessed tears and listened to disappointments as family members experienced holidays of heartache. But last year, it was our turn. Our immediate family was in the midst of a scenario we weren’t expecting and weren’t prepared for. We were blazing our own trail, unsure where we were heading. Except that we knew it wouldn’t stay hidden for long and would change the fabric of our family forever.
This Thanksgiving, we’re a year out from the initial shock and heartbreak of that season. If you knew all the details, you might not think it’s all that devastating, but it was a painful season for me. There were dreams laid to rest, and plans changed. But there were also lessons learned and blessings found. It made me and our family stronger.
If this is your hurting holiday season, I’m sorry, and my heart aches for you. I pray your people treat you well and you feel loved.
If this is someone at your table, tread lightly and lovingly. Hold space for them with love and kindness. Let them know they are seen and what they’re going through matters. If you end up on the receiving end of a rant, don’t give a bristled response back. Don’t dismiss it either, but remind yourself of their hurting heart. It may not even be the time for anecdotes or favorite Scriptures…there are times for those, but not always in the raw moments. Instead, take a deep breath and be quick to listen, not to speak. They don’t want to be fixed, they want to be seen and heard. By listening, you begin to create the safe space they need.
And to those of you who are hurting, hold on; there is healing. It might not be a month from now or even a year from now, but it’s coming. The light will shine in. But for now, it’s okay that your Thanksgiving Day isn’t what you thought it would be. It’s okay that this is your year to experience a hurtful holiday. Your story is being written. Stand fully in it and absorb all it has to teach you. What you’re experiencing now will come full circle, and one day, you’ll share your experience with someone else on their hurtful holiday.
Peace be with you,
Happy Thanksgiving! We thought you might enjoy this clip if things don’t go exactly as planned during your holiday prep. We all could use a good laugh these days!
Advent begins on Sunday, November 29, and ends on Christmas Day. She Reads Truth has a beautiful daily Advent devotional we recommend. The physical version is sold out, but you can still get the digital version. Regardless, we can’t wait to pull it out and start our Advent journey on the 29th!
CHRISTMAS CARD PRAYERS
As Christmas cards begin rolling in from family and friends, pick one card per day leading up to Christmas and pray for that specific family. Your prayer doesn’t need to be long…a simple sentence from your heart will do.
Because of Thanksgiving, we tend to focus on gratitude the most in November. But even though November is coming to an end, your gratefulness doesn’t need to end! We created a selection of wallpapers for your phone and computer screen to help keep your grateful heart alive for months to come.
Create safe environments where women can bring life's deepest questions.
Known Collective provides everything you need to implement a mentoring process to help women leave comparison at the door and enter a space where they can be real and engage in conversations that matter.