With Christmas just a few days away, there's a certain warmth in the air amid a cold December. Christmas is a time for food, family, fun and Jesus Christ. For many, this is the most wonderful time of year but for some, it's the most difficult. If you find that the emotional tide rising and falling inside you this Christmas season to be bizarre, there may just be a minor lapse in your usual jolly Christmas spirit. It happens. But if you're no stranger to the ups, downs, twists and turns of this particularly chilly and thrilling emotional roller coaster, we take it Christmas isn't exactly your favorite holiday.
Regardless of whether or not you enjoy the festivities, decorations at town malls and overwhelmingly bright holiday lights, your main focus should be on the birth of Jesus.
We know exactly what you're thinking. You're wondering how you could possibly focus on the birth of the single most greatest savior to ever have graced the face of the earth when you're so mopey all the time. It certainly won't be easy. The first thing you should realize and accept is that you are NOT ALONE. There are tons of people just like you - people who find themselves fighting to stay lifted. Whether you're experiencing a minor case of the holiday blues or are pruning in the middle of a faith drought, you can fight your way out.
Here are a few tips to help you kick fear to the curb and fight your way to faith!
1. Become an Inspiration Junkie
During last week's 10 Blessings Awakening call, 10 Blessings founder Natasha T. Brown discussed how becoming an inspiration junkie can lift your spirit when you're feeling overwhelmed. Saturating your mental, environmental and spiritual space with positivity is a sure way to keep you in control of what you feed your spirit. It doesn't matter if your physical environment is as chaotic as your emotions are. The latter half of Psalm 34:14 says to seek peace and pursue it. Saturate your mind with inspirational books, music, TED Talks, quotes, etc. Gravitate toward what brings you peace and pursue it wholeheartedly.
2. Meditate on the Love of God
The bible says that nothing can separate us from God's love (Romans 8:37-39). This means that no matter how overwhelmed, depressed or lonely you may feel, God's love constant within you. Try posting sticky notes of scriptures about God's love around you. Meditate on the words and allow Him to show you exactly how He feels about you. Also try creating a worship playlist to set the tone for your environment - whether at work, in your car, or even in your room while you sleep.
Don't be discouraged if you can't seem to feel the song. The bible says that faith comes by hearing and hearing, by the word of God. Make sure the lyrics will settle in your spirit and you'll begin to proclaim the words to each song. Be sure to choose songs that meditate on God's love. There is a worship song by Hillsong Young & Free that says, "Your love towers over me -gracious tempest in the sea, surround me like a storm...let your tide of mercy rain. Let it flood my heart again." Songs like this soften your heart and encourage your spirit to freely accept God's love. Pray for God to rekindle a desire within you to seek his peace and to accept his love.
3. Let Your Gift Become Your Release
It's easy to crumble to the temptation of easy fixes and toxic releases in times of depression, loneliness, sadness and frustration. Remember that giving way to such temptations can set you back further than you ever thought you'd go. That's why it's important to identify healthy streams of release. Whether you're a poet, lyricist, painter, filmmaker, strategist, counselor or woodsman, your gift is a valid form of release. If you're a writer or an artist, keep a journal or art an art journal or sketchbook in hand. Be ready to write or sketch your thoughts and feelings as the emotions present themselves. Whatever your unique talent or gift may be, ask God to speak to you through it and remember to keep your heart open to listen.
We love you with the LOVE of the Lord and we encourage you to use God's love to motivate and encourage you to see the light in what may feel a dark season. One of our favorite quotes is, "Feelings are fickle," written by Joyce Myers in her book Living Beyond your Feelings. This simple message can free you up to enjoy life and THIS season of love, even when you don't feel like it.
God bless you and Happy Holidays!