I’ve been thinking about the holiday season, how it seems to have an outer shell of warmth, happiness, and for some that is what it is. For others I have noticed that underneath the warmth and happiness shell is a layer of stress, busy schedules, elaborate decorations, shopping, wrapping, baking, and the list could go on. Under the stress is a layer of disappointment for what could be a number of reasons, someone won’t be at Christmas this year, your finances are not where they “should be” this year, you look back on the year and feel that you did not get enough accomplished, this list could go on as well. So what is under the layer of disappointment? For some, that’s where the layers stop, but for others there is a core layer of joy underneath it all. A joy that is deeper than our stress and disappointment, a joy that shows us beauty in the midst of chaotic circumstances, a joy that can be overlooked if we get stuck in the outer layers of the holiday season. This joy is the true meaning of the season, and this joy can only come from Jesus. Who God sent to be with us, teach us, live among us, and suffer for us and die in our place. A lot of times it is easy to wonder why things can’t be how they used to be, or the way they “should” be. In the midst of our questioning it is easy to miss the beauty that is going on around us. It isn’t perfect and may not be ideal, but it may be exactly what you need this year. No matter what you are going through this season or what your layers of the holidays are, I challenge you to find even the tiniest glimpse of beauty and joy this Christmas season. I’ve found that some of the most profound and meaningful joy is experienced in the midst of heartache. The holidays can be a tough time of year, but don’t let the joy of the season pass you by.
“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy” Psalm 94:19
Wishing you and yours a very merry and joyful Christmas this year.
-Lauren Rushton LPC-Intern