Grief Bites: Hope for the Holidays
DAY 5 OF 5
How can you create meaningful holidays that are filled with peace, regardless of what's happening in life? When going through grief, especially after losing a loved one or a relationship with a loved one, it is a very painful experience to create a necessary "new normal"...especially around the holidays. It definitely takes time. If you are within the first few months or the first year of losing a loved one, you most likely feel great heartache and aren't exactly sure how to plan or navigate through the holidays. Some probably do not feel much like doing anything, let alone planning meaningful special times for the holidays. Sometimes, the very best thing you can do during grief is to give yourself permission to quietly snuggle up with God and spend the holiday season primarily with Him, as you spend time in prayer with Him, enjoying His love. Some may have the ability to enjoy Christmas as usual by doing all of the fun and memorable activities and traditions they have always loved to do...and this is a great gift! Others may find themselves somewhere in the middle of these two scenarios...desiring to do the usual traditions, but also desiring solitude due to having a hard time and feeling great heartache. All are correct because grief is not a cookie-cutter experience. There is no "wrong answer." God guides and directs each grief very uniquely. I personally found the more I focused on God and the "true reason for the season," the better I was able to enjoy the Christmas season. I also found that when I purposely poured into others during the holidays, and incorporated a mixture of old and new traditions, the holidays became less of a dreaded burden. How do you create special memories for the holidays while missing loved ones or going through a life challenge? Asking God to help you look beyond the pain (while still embracing and navigating through your heartache and grief) and purposefully attaching a new meaning or tradition for the holidays can be hard; but can ultimately be helpful...and incredibly healing. Here's a few examples: When I was little, I remember my dad having our whole family wear our pajamas so we could go look at Christmas lights together. After I had a child of my own, we have always honored this special tradition and we always wear pajamas and look at Christmas lights. We've now done this for over two decades. Another tradition I love to do is to bake my sister's favorite Christmas treats. I then look to see who is hurting among my family and friends and I surprise them with elaborate Christmas treat trays. I love to encourage others throughout the holiday season and offer them a time of relief from their grief. A young lady in my grief group, who experienced the death of her little girl, shared with me that the holidays were torturous the first few years after the death of her daughter. This special young lady adopts an angel (she tries to find an angel with the same birthday as her daughter) from her local Angel Tree and buys the child in need gifts in honor of her daughter. It's also perfectly fine to light a memory candle in your loved one's honor. I have a good friend who comes to my grief group (she's also a Grief Bites leader) who lights a candle and puts a picture of her parents by the special candle. It's a great way to remember a loved one each holiday. Ask God how He would like for you to spend this holiday season. It may be a relaxed, quiet holiday season spent primarily with Him...it might include you being a source of love and encouragement to others...it may be to celebrate exactly how you have always celebrated...it may be to simply spend time with (and enjoy) your loved ones...it may be best to go out of town to get away...or it may even be to do a combo of all of these things. However you choose to spend the holidays, I pray you will always personally know how much God truly cares about you. I pray His hope and love are real to you in experience! I also wish everybody love, healing, and peace! May this holiday season be filled with warm, special memories...and especially HOPE! Have you received the ULTIMATE Gift...a relationship with Jesus Christ? Take time today to read Luke 2:1-21 and John 3:16 to unwrap the best Gift anyone could ever give you. Jesus is waiting with open arms to accept you – just as you are – and forgive you for all of your sins. All you have to do is have an honest conversation with God by asking Jesus to come into your heart and asking Him to make you brand new! If you would like additional hope and encouragement, I invite you to read our other reading plans: •Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships •Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief •Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed •Singing Through The Storm We also offer daily encouragement on our blog and Facebook page, too: •www.griefbites.com •www.facebook.com/GettingYourBreathBackAfterGrief You are so valuable and God deeply cares about your grief! I deeply care about your grief, too, and pray God lovingly heals your heart and life! Always remember how much God adores you! He loves you so dearly that He actually sings over you and greatly rejoices over you with a heart full of gladness! You are His heart's joy! Never forget how much He loves you and enjoy this holiday season to the fullest with Him! "Dear Most Gracious Heavenly Father, I ask You to do a great work in each person's heart today and in the days to come. When they are overwhelmed with sadness, I ask You to wrap them up in Your love and deeply comfort their heart. When days are hard, I ask that You will carry their heartache and burdens. I pray You infuse each of them with Your precious, treasured HOPE. Please grant them the gift of a meaningful special holiday season, especially with You. If they have never accepted You as their Lord and Savior, I pray You guide and direct them to the Ultimate Gift ever—You! We love You, Lord, and thank You in advance for all You will do. In Jesus Name we pray, amen!" This devotional © 2015 by Kim Niles/Grief Bites. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
About this Plan
For many, the holidays are a time of great joy...but what happens when the holidays lose their sparkle and become challenging due to deep grief or loss? This special reading plan will help those going through grief to fi...
About The Publisher
We would like to thank Kim Niles, author of Getting Your Breath Back After Life Knocks It Out of You, for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: www.griefbites.com