You’re Not Alone
By Grace McCready
Christmas is coming, which means a lot of smiles, laughter, and general Christmas cheer. But this year feels different to you. This year feels…hard. You’re experiencing a jumble of emotions:
I’m supposed to be excited about Christmas, aren’t I? Why do I feel anxious, overwhelmed, and exhausted? What’s wrong with me? This is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but I’m ready for it to be over.
I want you to know that you’re believing a lie if you think you’re the only one who can’t find Christmas spirit—at least the “Christmas spirit” described in Hallmark movies and Christmas pop songs, anyway. But no matter how you feel this Christmas, the truths of Christmas still hold true for you.
…[He] saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was granted to us in Christ Jesus from all eternity but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher. For this reason, I also suffer these things; but I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to protect what I have entrusted to Him until that day. Hold on to the example of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Protect, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you. (2 Timothy 1:9-14 NASB)
I realize this isn’t a typical Christmas passage, but I love it because it encompasses everything we need to know at Christmastime (and all year long)! No matter how you feel this Christmas—and even if you’re dreading it deep down inside—this is true for you. If Christ hadn’t entered our world at Christmas, we would still be prisoners of sin and death (v. 10). In Him, we are free from those things.
Satan can’t take away our salvation, but he can attack us with his lies. This is why we need to vigilantly protect the truth (vv. 13-14). Like Paul, who I’m sure felt anxious and discouraged as we often do, we simply need to trust we belong to Christ, and nothing can change that (v. 12). We may not be able to hold onto vague emotions, but we can hang onto our changeless Christ.
- Don’t rely on your emotions as you prepare for Christmas. They can be deceptive, and they’re always changing!
- Focus on Bible passages which remind you of the big picture of Christmas.
- Remember other people (including myself) also struggle with difficult emotions at Christmastime. Not everyone feels eager and happy.
- Take your challenging emotions to God and be honest with others about how you feel so they can pray for you. They may relate to how you feel and be encouraged.
Grace McCready enjoys spending time with her family, hanging out with friends, and watching her favorite TV shows. She is the author of Real Recovery: What Eating Disorder Recovery Actually Looks Like, which is set to release in 2022. She blogs about the Christian life at Tizzie’s Tidbits of Truth.