Confession: I sort of loathe the time of year between Thanksgiving and New Year's. December has been a difficult month for me for years, made worse so by my Nana's passing away 5 years ago, on my 26th birthday. I'd be lying if I said many of my December memories are not laced with hurt and disappointment. This coming December is promising to be the most difficult yet. Already I am an emotional mess (seriously, I cried in the Walmart parking lot the other day when my boys put their coins in the Salvation Army buckets.)
As I try to brace myself for the emotions, I find myself wanting to fall asleep in a Turkey-coma, not waking up until New Year's day. Unfortunately, I have a life which demands my consciousness every day of the year, including the hard ones. I also have a huge desire to provide my boys with happy December memories. So what do I do?
I cling tightly to the only real reason to celebrate anything, Jesus. His love is the greatest gift in my life. He is my reason for breathing, for getting out of bed each day and pouring out all the love I can.
I know December 2015 will be hard for me. I am certain there will be many days I cry out to God to just give me the strength to breathe. But I am confident Jesus will meet me smack dab in the middle of all my hurt and carry me through, just as He has been faithful to do for years.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:4-13