I've seen many memes this week stating Christmas begins November 1st. While it's all good fun, many people are coming into this season of Thanksgiving and Christmas with a heavy heart. Countries are at war, loved ones have passed away, there's turmoil and violence in our towns. Sometimes, it's hard to see the joy in the coming months. I myself went through a season of life when November and December brought a mix of happiness and sadness.
And while I experienced sorrow, I fought hard to enjoy those special moments with my young children. I often prayed for patience, peace, and a sense of delight that I enjoyed when I was younger. I tried to focus on happy memories of the season and remember the joy it brought me as a child.
I wrote this prayer several years ago when my circumstances were much different than they are now. I hope it helps you during the coming holidays.
"Lord, you know where my heart is this season. The healing you’ve done in me is tremendous! But, sometimes I do reminisce about my earlier holidays.
My mind escapes to those childhood Christmases when my family was together. Those times when my Dad took us to pick out that real Christmas tree. When I would get so excited smelling the fresh greens and seeing the beautiful firs lined up just waiting to be picked by excited little hands and hearts.
We’d tie the tree to the top of our car and make our way home singing carols and laughing about how we were going to fit our precious Evergreen through the door.
At home mom was cooking, while the boxes of ornaments were waiting for us. And then the time came, the time we’d string lights and decorate the tree and then, then it was the magical time when we turned all the other lights off.
Do you remember, God, how I’d lay under the tree looking up at all the twinkling colors? I’d daydream about baby Jesus and what it would be like to sleep in a bed made of hay. I’d pray that every gift I wanted would appear under the tree and hope for extras.
Oh God, had I only known what was to come. My young heart was not prepared for the sickness that infected my mother’s body over and over. My mind was not ready for the battle that ensued during my first marriage or the difficult divorce of my parents. My emotions were not strong enough to handle that first Christmas as a single mother.
But YOU were enough God. Heavenly Father, you were there during every joyous occasion and painful argument. When I believed my world was falling apart and didn’t want to celebrate anything. You were there.
And you knew. You knew the healing was coming and how the tears would bring a fresh perspective and new life. You prepared this way for me long ago when you thought of me during creation.
And even though I miss my family being a complete unit, I know you’ve healed me from this pain and will heal others who are hurting like me. Those who’ve lost loved ones, who’ve experienced pain beyond my understanding, and who need you more than ever.
I ask you, Father, to wrap your loving arms around your sons and daughters who can’t see this time as a joyous occasion because of the memories that haunt their dreams. Comfort your children and give them your peace and mercy.
Thank you for loving me and walking through each and every season of my life with me. I may not have always understood your presence but I am beginning to comprehend the magnitude of your love.
And I am grateful."
In Jesus’ Name,