When we see other families it's easy for us to think they have it so good. We get caught in the comparison trap and think, "Wow!! They really are blessed!!" Holidays have a tendency to bring this up for many. We can so easily struggle with holidays because we see others doing things we wish we could, or have their family around them, when ours is estranged. This can be so hurtful!! When the truth is we don't know the struggles they have, and how they might be hurting as well.
In our lives we see so many different seasons. Babies born, birthdays, graduations, marriages, and so on!! So many celebrations! Sometimes we may look and think, "they are those people," you know the ones that have it all together. Maybe they have so much money, and get to go on great vacations, or maybe they have elaborate parties. In marriage we have to see this for what it is, and focus on what we have instead of what we don't have.
A hard season we must all go through is death. We can't escape it and neither can the ones we love. Holiday hurts can come in like a rushing wind with every season. Hurting because we miss our loved one that passed, or maybe some passes close to the next holiday or on it. We see this constantly, and it is hard to get through. Our hurt, or the hurt of others, can cause friction at family events. As a married couple we need to be aware and walk in love with each other and others that we will celebrate a holiday with.
Loss on holidays doesn't have to mean someone died. It could mean divorce, separation, children who are estranged, or even that it may not be your year to have your children with you. Loss of a child you don't have, or parents you can't see because of health or distance, family feuds, and the list goes on and on. Feelings of loss come in many different forms. Some experience are anger, sadness, fear, feeling alone, anxiety, and even depression. Even in a marriage you can feel these feelings!! It's so good to discuss them with your spouse and work through them together.
Have you ever been in a crowded room and felt all alone. It happens even to the people you don't think it could. We all have a way of hiding our pain, and we deal with it differently. I know we have felt that way many times and we have learned to change our perspective quickly. We have also learned that others hide it well too. Whether you are rich, poor, or middle class you are not exempt from loneliness. Remember to comfort your spouse and others as you would want to be comforted.
What do we do with all of this pain that comes from holiday hurts? First, we realize what's going on, then we address it with God. We know the only One who can help us with this hurt is Jesus. He is the Answer!!! The next thing I would say to do with your spouse is lower expectations. For years my expectations were so high for holidays!! They never turned out the way I imagined in my mind. Our Pastor told me this one day and I took his advice. Then, you and your spouse want to be a team, love everyone you see, but remember to check on them to make sure they are doing well with the event. Set boundaries with those who can cause your hurt to escalate, and be ready to leave if you feel it's not going well. Finally, learn to change quickly and laugh a lot!!! Perception is everything. If you think everything is bad, it is, if you think everything is stressful, it is, but if you think "we are going to stay positive, love everyone, and keep our joy", you will!! Jesus will help you if you but ask. Pain will come, but it's how we respond to that pain that will change the atmosphere!!!
Tuesday: 2 Corinthians 10:12 says, “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” Comparison is a trap to envy and is not wise.
Wednesday: Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:" We should celebrate others seasons and prepare for our good seasons while embracing the season we are in.
Thursday: Ecclesiastes 3:2 says, "A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;" Death comes to all, we need to help each other through each season of death we encounter and be patient as we all grieve differently.
Friday: Ecclesiastes 3:4 says, "A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;" Loss is hard, but we will all go through it, it's how and who we go through it with! Embrace your spouse!!
Saturday: Romans 12:15 says, "Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep." When loneliness hits, remember to weep with your spouse, hold your spouse, and be there when they need you!
Sunday: Psalm 61:2 says, “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” The solution to holiday hurt is the Rock, Christ Jesus!! He is higher than we are and can help us through!!
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