The stores are filled with bustling shoppers. Christmas music plays on every aisle. Houses are trimmed with twinkling lights that glow cheery through the crisp night.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The happiest season of all.
But, sometimes Christmas hurts. Sometimes it is a glaring reminder of mistakes made. Of the way things used to be. Of loved ones who are missing. Of kids who are grown and gone. Sometimes Christmas is so dark and lonely that just the work of breathing in and out during this season seems overwhelming.
When everyone seems to have it all together.
When happy families invade your mailbox with their picture perfect holiday in the form of a greeting card.
When the world seems to be at peace while you are in agony.
When every cheer-filled minute of every festive day just makes your heart break a little bit more.
When the act of being happy seems like an impossibility.
There are no quick and easy fixes for a broken heart. But, there is hope for healing. There is faith for the doubter. There is love for the lonely.
These treasures won’t be found under a Christmas tree or in a family tradition or even in the way things used to be. Hope, faith, love, joy, peace, and just the strength to make it through the next 24 hours, are all wrapped up in a baby boy, born to this earth as its Savior. Eternally wise and infinitely powerful, His weak little frame was swaddled tight, snuggled into the hay in a box meant for feeding animals.
And, He is the hope for the broken-hearted.
Pain is real. He felt it. Heartbreak is inevitable. He experienced it. Tears come. His did. Betrayal happens. He was betrayed.
He knows. He sees. He understands. And, He loves deeply, in ways we can’t even fathom.
When your heart breaks at Christmas, when the pain comes, when the whole thing seems like more than you can bear, you can look to the manger. You can look to the cross. And, you can remember the hope that comes with Christmas.
The pain won’t leave. But, the hope will swaddle you tight. And Jesus, in His gentle mercy, will hold you until you can breathe again. What you long for at Christmas may never be. But, He was, He is, and He is to come. You can trust that, even when Christmas hurts.
This is so true and beautifully worded. Many parts of this season are so sweet and fun and wonderful, but there are tender moments in the midst. And yes, for some, this is the whole reality of the season. So for me, personally, a good reminder to lean into Him when the hard parts surface: and then, in the midst of the celebrations, to remember those who are suffering through their circumstances and be mindful to pray for them to know that He IS with us <3
Thank you, Laura!
I found your blog from a link that someone sent me after Al Myers died. You had written it about him previously. Even in Al’s death, he gave me something in finding your writing. Keep up the great work.
Thank you, Doug!
This is my second Christmas without my beloved husband, and I just lost a very dear friend on Dec. 14. “When Christmas Hurts” is very healing. Thank you.
I’m so sorry, Linda!