Holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are supposed to be happy, right? Already stores have Christmas displays, and shoppers are filling their grocery carts with turkeys. But often the holidays bring on feelings like stress, anxiety, and depression. Guest blogger Dr. Bob Kellemen brings comfort. whether your holidays are enjoyable or a downer. He also offers a free 20-page downloadable. The article first appeared on Bob’s website and is used here with permission. The past few years, I’ve posted a several-part blog series entitled Healing for the Holidays. By God’s grace, this has benefited many people. I’ve now made the entire series available as a free 20-page PDF that you can download at Healing for the Holidays. I developed the Healing for the Holidays series from the gift-book God’s Healing for Life’s Losses: How to Find Hope When You’re Hurting. You can download Quotes of Note, a sample chapter, and more, for free at the God’s Healing Page here. Here’s the first page of the Healing for the Holiday’s PDF…
Holidays… They’re “supposed” to make us think of words like thankful, merry, and happy. We’re “supposed” to associate holidays with a phrase like “Home for the Holidays!” But… what if a loved one is not coming home this holiday season? What if death, divorce, distance, or family discord causes us to associate the holidays with words and feelings like depression, anxiety, and stress?
Holidays can create fresh memories of our loss and a fresh experience of pain and grief. The thought of facing another holiday season causes some people to wish they could sleep from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving until January 2. Loss is always hard, and at the holidays it can seem crushing. The thought of being in a festive mood for two months is just too much to bear when our heart is breaking.
A Note to Those Who Are Happy at the Holidays
Some of you might be thinking, “Bob. Don’t be such a downer. I love the holidays!” Awesome. I have no desire to diminish your joy. However, your experience is not universal. For many of your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and relatives, the holidays are bittersweet. So keep reading…if not for yourself, then for others—so you can empathize with and care for those who need healing for the holidays.
A Promise to Those Who Long for Healing for the Holidays
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).
I include this verse every time I autograph a copy of God’s Healing for Life’s Losses. In this one verse, Jesus gives you permission to grieve and permission to hope. Jesus is real and raw, just like life can be. He is also honest and hope-giving. His words, His life, death, and resurrection, give us healing hope. The apostle Paul offers the same message of sorrow mingled with healing. Sharing with Christians who had lost loved ones, Paul speaks of Christian grief—grieving with hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). The Rest of the Story: To download your free copy of Healing for the Holidays, click here.
Join the Conversation
As you’re in this midst of this year’s holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, are you enjoying it, overwhelmed by it, indifferent to it, in in need of healing? During this holiday season, who could you minister to by understanding that this may be a difficult time of the year for them and by caring and sharing Christ’s healing hope? COUNSELING: Are you grieving a loss? In the middle of a divorce? Experience family discord? Talk to one of the experience, certified biblical counselors of Biblical Counseling Center. Meet in person in greater Chicago — we have 4 locations — OR by Skype. Look at our counseling page for more information and to schedule an appointment. Or, contact us with your questions.