Do You Dread the Christmas Season?

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Over the years, I’ve met many people who dread the Christmas season. For them it is a time of painful memories, difficult encounters, and unresolved grief. Do you share this perspective of Christmas?

If so, let me encourage you. 

Stressed woman looking unhappy.

When Christmas brings pain, it is usually the result of unresolved emotions that are festering beneath the surface. The Christmas season serves as the trigger for these unresolved emotions because we intuitively know that the Christmas season should be a time of joy, peace, and love. When it is not, we are reminded more intensely that something is wrong.

In counseling others for many years, I have discovered that, in almost every case, the root cause of Christmas anguish is unforgiveness. Christmas pain is caused by the memory of past hurts or past losses. When we do not forgive those who hurt us, or when we do not yield the pain of our losses to Christ, we suffer at Christmas time. In fact, we suffer all the time, but more intensely at Christmas.

If you are hurting this Christmas season, examine your heart. Are you harboring unforgiveness toward someone who wronged you? Perhaps that someone is God or even yourself. Are you holding on to the memory of a lost loved one–whether deceased or living–in an unhealthful way by refusing to complete the grief process? Both of these scenarios will rob you of the joy, peace, and love that Jesus wants you to experience not only at Christmas time but all the time. 

NOTE: A few years ago, I wrote an article about unforgiveness that may help you. If you are interested, here is the link: http://tinyurl.com/plc2hln 
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How to Deal with Grief

“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines
the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23
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Grief is a normal human emotion that occurs whenever loss of any kind occurs. The degree of grief is directly related to the degree of loss or of perceived loss.

Portrait of lonely depressed man sitting on the floor

Grief has stages. Healthful grieving involves going through these stages, not necessarily in consecutive order.

To deal with grief in a healthful way, do the following:

1–Admit your grief. Do not attempt to deny it.

2–Express your grief in a safe and healthful way. 

3–Do not allow anyone to tell you how you should feel. Your feelings are your own, unique to you.

4–Recognize that events in the future may trigger a return of your grief. Expect such triggers, and do not be surprised by them.

5–First and foremost, give your grief to our Heavenly Father. He understands grief, and He alone can provide the comfort you need to prevent grief from becoming disabling to you.

There is a time for grief, but that time should not last forever. If you are still experiencing grief after a reasonable amount of time has passed since your loss, ask the Lord to show you the reason and to heal you. If necessary, seek the help of your pastor, a counselor, or a close friend.

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I welcome your comments. You may leave a comment by clicking here.

To receive these blog posts in your mailbox, please click here.

If you found this post helpful, please forward it to a friend. Thank you!

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