Thanksgiving has come and gone and it’s now socially appropriate to blast Christmas music during all hours of the day (yay!). The holidays are here, which can elicit wildly different emotions for each of us. Maybe the hope of this Christmas season feels incredibly tangible to you; maybe you know in your head that there is hope, but you’re struggling to feel it in your spirit. That’s okay.
I am so delighted to welcome Elisabeth Klein to the blog today. She’s sharing out of her newest book, Holidays for the Hurting, about experiencing doubt and difficulty during the Christmas season. Her words are so needed during this time of year when joy and merriment are not felt by all. I hope this meets you wherever you are today.
My life, right in this moment, is not where I want it to be. A promising part of my future has ended and my heart is aching. And because of that, I am doubting a few things.
In my confusion, I am doubting my perceptions of reality.
In the surprise of this ending, I am doubting that my future is really merry and bright.
In my sadness, I am doubting the rightness of God’s plan.
And I can’t help but wonder if Mary had twinges of doubt. I know that pretty much right away she said to Gabriel, “Let it be to me according to your word,” and I know that she has been hailed as being a young woman of great faith, but still. She was just a girl. And she was only human. And she knew what it was supposed to take to make a baby.
I do not want to diminish her faith. It is remarkable. It is to be lauded. It is to be replicated.
But I cannot help but ponder if she doubted anything in those moments…
Will this really happen to me?
Is this really the best plan for my life?
What is God thinking?
All questions you and I have probably asked ourselves at some point. Some of which we might be asking right now in the middle of our hurting season.
I feel like doubting gets a bad rap. But perhaps doubting isn’t even the right word. Questioning? Wondering, maybe?
We’re allowed to do those things. I do not think, especially in our pain, that we are expected as mere humans, to just move forward blindly without using our minds and hearts to wrestle through our pain.
So today as you look to Christmas – the coming of the Lord – and you are hurting and waiting and wondering, know that it’s okay.
It’s okay if things feel off.
It’s okay if you don’t know what to think.
It’s okay if you have more questions than answers today.
You do not need all the answers.
God is a great big God. He can handle the questions. He isn’t afraid of your ponderings. I believe he understands how hard times throw us off kilter. Maybe today is all about being okay with not knowing and not seeing clearly and not understanding. Maybe that is the gift you can give yourself today.
God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. –I Corinthians 4:33-
God, I am confused by my circumstances. Nothing is clear. Nothing seems right. I can’t see your hand in any of this right now. So today I ask that you help me simply accept my reality for what it is and sense your peace. Amen.
If this post resonated with you, Holidays for the Hurting: 25 Devotions to Help You Heal will bring you more support.
Elisabeth Klein is the grateful wife to Richard and grateful mom and stepmom to five. She writes, speaks, and mentors women in difficult marriages, those going through divorce, single moms, those dating post-divorce, and those who are remarried and stepmothers. You can find her at ElisabethKlein.com.