Preparing for Christmas
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…….
We’ve all heard that amazing song and for many of us it truly warms the heart! We as Christians know what Christmas stands for. It is to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We celebrate in many ways. Whether it be in song, plays or going out and singing Christmas carols to people throughout our local communities.
However, for some Christmas, it may not be such a wonderful celebration. For some it may bring sadness and depression upon them. I know that I can speak to this personally. Indulge me if you will for a minute before I begin to expound in this article. In 2003, I learned that my dad had a major brain tumor and was listed as terminal in July of that year. Thanksgiving would be the last meal that he would sit up with his family to enjoy a meal. The remainder of his time was spend bed ridden. My prayers back then was that he just get through the holidays as I knew how traumatic it would impact my family. My dad hung in their like a trooper until Jesus called him home on the 2nd day of January, 2004.
It’s been almost 12 years since my dad went to be with Jesus. However, I still struggle with the sadness that comes upon me during this wonderful season.
I bring reference to this because there are many people that surround our CMBC family upon the mountain who may struggle with similar type events.
We as a church family must open our hearts to ways that we can minister in a way that is effective to repair the emotions that these people may be enduring with the upcoming holidays.
How Can We Help?
Some people who have experience something similar to what I went through many years ago, may just want that extra special hug, or someone to just cry upon their shoulder without fear of being judged.
People may tend to withdraw during these times. It is important to involve them with you and what’s going on to help keep them focused on something different rather than merely focusing on the past and being drawn into a state of depression. However, let me say this. It’s okay to let them cry. It’s okay that they may feel frustrated during this time. We need to realize that their loss is real. We need to respect their feelings.
It’s easy as a Christian and normal for us to just want to say “Cheer Up.”
And here is the big thing to remember. Don’t try and tell them that they shouldn’t focus on the past. It’s okay to bring them into events or your family, but let them know that you’re not trying to replace the memories but help to provide them with new ones. Once people begin to feel true love and concern from us, they will warm up to us. I am not sharing this article as a means to make people feel sad, but rather as a way to get people to realize that as we approach the Christmas season, this is one of the leading seasons where people become depressed and even suicidal during this time of the year.
While many can go all year long and almost nobody would notice they were dealing with this, then once upon the season, it’s almost like they become a different person.
Things Not To Do
We as Christians tend to think we are always inviting and want to just love on people. However, there are some things that you don’t want to do. People experience sadness in various ways. However, there are certain things people do without even thinking about it that can escalate these emotions.
Let’s take a minute to examine a few of them:
- Don’t be touchy feely (some people may be put off by your what may be genuine touch as offensive and intrusive)
- Don’t try to negate their sadness (people don’t want to hear that they shouldn’t feel the way they do)
- Don’t say you have an answer (Yes, we know Jesus is the answer, but we must work through the healing process first)
- Don’t shame them for their emotions (they have every right to feel their emotions, it’s not up to us to change them)
People who suffer with depression will choose how they want to warm up to you and your family. Let them do it in a way that works for them and that is comfortable. With time and prayer, they will move past it.
Love Them The Way Jesus Loves The Church
Once people who suffer from depression during the Christmas season begin to see and feel you as being real, then they will warm up to you. Then it’s up to each of us to love them exactly the way that Jesus loves the Church.
They don’t want something that is fake. They want something they can latch onto that is real and that will enable them to truly feel joy in their hearts again. So as we start to move in on the Christmas season, let us all be aware of those who are around us who may suffer from holiday depression. It’s a very real problem and one that we as a body of believers need to be in tune with and watching out for.
What Are You Going To Do?
So what will you be doing differently this year to help those who may be suffering with depression? Share with out CMBC family and let’s all learn how we can help those who may be within our church or live within our community to help them deal with the Christmas season this year. Leave your comments and ideas below this article.