The holidays can be tough for a lot of people. It’s supposed to be a time of excitement, anticipation, gathering with family and friends. Normally. For many people. But not for everyone. It’s a time of gifts, music, fun, and parties. But not for everyone. Some people may either be alone because they don’t have any family or friends nearby or at all to get together with at the holidays. Some people may choose not to gather because they are feeling depressed and the thought of being around other people leaves them with a sickening feeling.

In life, no matter what you are experiencing, it’s a good idea to assess how you’re feeling at some point. Fun times with family or friends can and should lead us to a place of gratitude and thanksgiving. Isolated times can lead us to a place of figuring out how to make the best of a bad situation, if it’s not our choosing. A lot of times things can get better if we think about the welfare of others over our own loneliness. In the case of clinical depression or in dealing with the loss of a loved one, either due to their passing away or the end of a relationship, helping other people may not be something you can work yourself up to. And that’s OK. It is so important to acknowledge the situation you are in, though. Especially when it’s bad. Denial is destructive.

Acceptance helps heal.

Not that you don’t move out of that phase in your own time (and that can take a while) but to pretend it’s not happening is detrimental to good health of soul, mind, and body. I’ve been that denier. I know of what I speak! But, ultimately, there has to be a handing over of it all – of all of yourself – to God. Offer it up and don’t try to hide anything because God knows your heart anyway. So give it all over to God and open yourself up to receive the Divine grace and Divine mercy.

Only God can save us.

The scars will remain. We can take comfort in knowing that Jesus has His scars. Remember when He appears before His disciples in the Upper Room! (See Luke 24:39) Keep giving God your whole self every day. Scars and all. Let God love you. Let yourself be loved. And then let God heal you.

Once God heals your pain or your grief, you will find yourself able to pray for others, to show mercy and compassion to others, who are suffering but haven’t heard of God’s grace, who don’t know to ask for it. Those of us who have experienced His grace and mercy need to share the good news. Jesus is our hope and that brings joy to those of us who know Him. But we need to pass it on so the joy we know and which has so richly blessed us, blesses others.

2 thoughts on “Finding joy, sharing joy

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