Sue Leggatt picNot everyone will be looking forward to the impending season. Some of us find this season painful, stressful and filled with dread. I have felt all of these emotions at one time or another in the last few years.

The reality of being at the time of year where people should be full of love and joy, but you’re actually filled with pain, sorrow and dread, seems just not to be very ‘Christian’ at all, and I used to beat myself up about it every Christmas. But hey, you know what, it happens, and you just have to ride the storm (thankfully not alone) …

I can tell you with great delight that the pain, sorrow and stress will pass. Christmas will never be the same as it used to be if you have experienced loss, it will be different, but this is the good news, ‘different doesn’t have to be bad, it can be ok, even good again’.

I have experienced the loss of a sibling, family breakdown and difficult situations with siblings who can’t bear to be in the same room together at Christmas.  You may well ask, how can you get through all these things? Well, it’s a work in progress, as with most things in life. A time of adjustment for your loss is completely normal.  Grief takes time to be processed, it really is ok to cry.  Those who know me will probably be smiling now because boy did I cry (and still do). Special family get togethers/occasions will be difficult to start with but with the support of your family, friends and, more importantly, your prayer life with your Heavenly Father you can weather this storm together.  Jesus is the real key to your healing and strength, glean all you can from the Scriptures and spend time soaking in His presence. He really is the answer.

My words of wisdom for a challenging Christmas are:

  1. Take one day at a time, you can’t fix everything yourself.
  2. Try not to put unrealistic expectations on your celebrations, it’s not about the all singing, all dancing Christmas get together.
  3. Give yourself permission to celebrate at your own pace.
  4. Lean on the One who loves you unconditionally and is your strength and refuge.
  5. Know you are not journeying through these hard times alone, we are all cheering you on from the side lines.

Keep going, and remember love always wins x

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