Here we are on the ‘other’ side of Christmas. How are you feeling?
Christmas has not always been the most looked-forward to event in my life. When I went through a deep healing journey many years ago, Christmas caused me a lot of depression and I struggled to stay positive. It reminded me of all that I had lost – which was pretty much everything from my marriage to the home our kids grew up in, to my ability to work because of emotional illness, to the estrangement of my extended family for many years. It was not a good time in my life.
I’m happy to say I lived through all that and stand here on the flip side with a whole lot of different ways of thinking. Christmas has become a joyous time again for me. And it’s not about what I can ‘buy’ for Christmas. Some years I have a little more money. Some years I have none! Being happy, content and joyful has little to do with money, and everything to do with loving and being loved…
Today I feel…peaceful and joy-full. We had such a lovely time yesterday – and for the first time in about six years my daughter Jayne was with us! We laughed, loved and yes, ate! At the end of the day we dispersed to our various homes, and I felt blessed to have been together.
Family is EVERYTHING to me. One of the reasons I feel I’ve been put on this earth is to support my children and grandkids and I do so with pure joy. There is nothing more fulfilling to me to see their happy faces, hear their laughter, and take pride in who they’ve become despite the painful years we went through together.
And I wish to take this time to thank each of my kids. They are the ones who kept me going when I was in a dark place – they were my motivation to get well when I could find no other reason to try. I love them so deeply – as well as the wonderful mates they have chosen and of course my beyond beautiful grandbabies!
One more gift I have been given is the restoration of relationship with many of my siblings – and for that I am truly blessed. I had to find peace in thinking that we may not speak again until we were all together in the next life. But God saw fit to restore many of those relationships and I am beyond ecstatic that they are back in my life again. (I’m realizing now that much of my angst around those relationships I thought were lost, was my own angst – and that quite possibly I never did lose them – but took myself out of the equation for many years). For that, I feel sorry – but happy to know that there has been healing between us.
God has restored to me what I have lost. If I didn’t have my faith in God, I truly don’t know how I would have made it. If I had no belief that, even in the darkness, God still had my best interests at heart, I would have been swallowed up entirely. I truly don’t know how others make it when they have no faith in anything but themselves. While I believe having faith in oneself is very important – I’ve come to know from these dark experiences in my life that having faith in oneself only can be a very lonely and scary way to live. I stand in awe of God’s mercy and faithfulness to me, and although many of my beliefs have changed from the beliefs I was taught as a child – my relationship with God has never been closer.
Thankfully, this Christmas has left me feeling fulfilled and blessed. But I know also what it’s like to not be able to bear holidays like this one. I hope and pray that for those of you that feel this way, this year, that you can hold on to the hope that our entire life ebbs and flows. Good and bad are inevitable in this life. If we can hold on in the bad, lonely, scary times and never give up – the good, better, and best times will follow.