Are you in a desperate situation? Are you in absolute despair? If you just need a listening ear, we invite you to share with us.
The smell of freshly baked gingerbread came from the kitchen and the lights on the tree glowed as I sat for a few minutes and enjoyed the moment. But it hasn’t always been this way. There was a time when I simply did not want to have Christmas at all.
Just dragging the tree out and decorating the house left me feeling like my body was encased in cement. Here was a season of hope and I felt numb. I could hardly wait to package up the tree, box up the decorations and put them in storage. I could always try and imagine that the New Year would be better.
For some, Christmas time is a hard season. Hurtful memories and reminders come from childhood memories, an unfaithful spouse, a broken home, a death, still waiting to conceive a child, or a loved one fighting for our country. Whatever the reason, the feeling sits in the pit of the stomach.
I can’t candy coat it. We have to realize the reality for what it is. Yet I can say, because I‘ve been there, that there is hope! I believe it…I’ve lived it! Your life, your walk may seem in despair today … but from my heart to yours… I know YOU CAN DO THIS! This isn’t the time to throw in the towel or give up.
May I share 3 things with you that I learned in my journey through days of despair?
1. Don’t give up!
Believe that there is a very special reason you are here. Do you know that a God of Love created you, very specifically? Listen to these verses from Psalm 139: 13, 14, 16b (CEV), “You are the One who put me together inside my mother’s body and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me. Everything you do is marvelous! Of this I have no doubt….even before I was born, you had written in your book everything I would do.”
God believes in YOU. He took the time to specially create your own DNA and place you on planet earth. Outside circumstances come into our lives that are not marvelous, but it doesn’t change the fact that God wants us to move ahead. He wants to walk with us through the hard parts. He thinks you are that important and now is the time to start believing it.
You have a gift to open this Christmas. It is spelled with 4 letters — H O P E. You can’t put a price on that. It is the gift God want to give you.
2. Don’t forget to take care of yourself!
When hopelessness threatens to swallow you do something for yourself that will encourage you. In times of despair for me I went to the library for books, went for a walk to think or pray, started to make a list of goals and dreams, or simply changed my furniture around. You will find what is healthy just for you. A friend gave me a journal book and I started to write down some thoughts and tried to put things in perspective. Maybe it is time to set an appointment to see your medical doctor. Take care of YOU! You are cherished by God who made you His treasure. The Psalmists continues to say in Psalm 139: 24b…”but lead me in the way that time has proven true.” Grab hold of God’s heart. He really does care and wants to walk you through this. HOLD ON!!!!
3. Don’t be exclusive!
One of the easiest things is to curl up and let the world around go on without us. It feels like you can’t deal with anything. I know. That is when you need to reach out for help. I had to do that and now I am blessed with some good memories and some new dreams started. One Christmas when I was alone I helped at a dinner where people came who had nowhere to go. It helped to reach out to others. In the quietness of your room allow yourself the freedom to grieve. Just don’t stay there. It is ok to ask for help. Reach out.
Life can sometimes seem very low but don’t give up. There is always Hope. Circumstances may not change right away, but the gift of God’s Hope and His peace is forever.
Psalm 119: 142-144 (CEV) “You will always do right, and your teachings are true. I am in deep distress, but I love your teachings. Your rules are always fair. Help me to understand them and live”.
Today my body doesn’t feel like cement, and even though there are still scars and hurtful memories, they don’t control me. God has taken the deep distress of those hard days and did as He promised in His Word: “He always does right” and brings new life out of the broken pieces.
From my heart to yours …please never give up. There is hope. Grab hold of it offered from the hand of God and watch your journey begin.
YOU CAN DO THIS!
Questions: Are you struggling with painful memories right now? What will be your first step you can take to help you get out of your despair?
About his Author Linda Goodhand Rodgers
Daily audio podcast: A second daily devotional, The Challenge to End Well, today on the Men’s Devotional Blog