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Grief and the Holidays 2021

The holidays are a difficult time for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one thus I hope this post provides you with relatability and comfort. The holiday season is a time for family and friends to create memories and uphold traditions. The traditions are a soft spot if you have lost a loved one. Baking around the holidays just isn’t the same for myself and my family. Baking is how I still feel close to my mom but it is just not the same without her here. It just seems odd. Though it feels odd, I still enjoy the mess of flour I create and giving my baked goods away to others to devour and enjoy. That will always make my heart happy, yet it doesn’t mean that these moments are not bittersweet. These moments are bittersweet and different, even though my mom has been in heaven for 6 years I’m still adjusting to doing these things without her and creating new traditions and memories. That is just my example of how things are different for me since the passing of my mom. This year, in addition to not having my mom around for the holidays, my family is also experiencing our first holiday season without my grandpa, my mom’s dad. This year I have 1 less family member to call or visit with. I don’t get to visit with him or get to take another picture with him this Christmas. I didn’t realize how much I actually miss my grandpa until this holiday season approached us. It’s just plain weird adjusting to new seasons and traditions without our loved ones here on earth with us. If you are experiencing this for the first time this holiday season or for the 15th time, I hope I can offer you encouragement and let you know that others are experiencing the same thing.

Around the holiday season I find myself highly emotional. I begin to feel emotional over the tiniest things. Whether it’s crying over something that touched my heart or becoming easily angered. I find myself disregarding that commandment from James 1:19-20 often. I’m very snappy to the ones I love. I hate it. I am trying to change it. I noticed it, so I am becoming more conscious of how I react to my circumstances and those around me. I noticed this last week thus here’s to thinking on purpose this week and onward taking my thoughts and emotions captive and making them obedient unto the Lord. You’re not alone if you feel this way. We’re human and our emotions can creep up on us. It’s normal for us to feel the hurt and anger during this season where we were so used to having our loved ones surround us. There is always going to be a void where they were. In that void is where we need to seek Christ and soak in God’s truth. Yes, easier said than done. I’m preaching to myself as much as I am to you.

I know that this anger comes from my lack of filling myself with God’s Word and just allowing my emotions to rule rampant from within. It’s important that we stay in tune with our spiritual well being, especially when we are dealing with our grief. If we are in tune with God and ourselves it becomes easier to notice our attitude shift or a change in our demeanor. If we allow our emotions to rule us and stray from God’s Truth, we will see it become evident in the way we treat others and ourselves. We can feel the hurt, but it is important not to dwell. We have to meditate on what is good and pure.

Finally Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Philippians 4:8-9, CSB

With all that being said, I want to encourage you to spend a whole lot of time with God this holiday season and navigate it with His help. We need His guidance to survive the hurts of this world. Keep your loved one’s memory alive through your traditions and the way you carry yourself. Fill yourself with God’s truth so that you are equipped to combat the foreboding emotions.

Our battles are fought within our minds and within our spirit. Spiritual warfare is very real. I fought the war a little harder during the holiday season just as many of you probably do. You have the authority of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling within you. I am here to remind you of that. By Christ’s blood we have the authority to cast down foreboding thoughts. In this season where we may feel the most sad and our loved one’s absence is strongest is the very season we get to celebrate the authority and gifts from God. God sent down His only begotten son so that we may have eternal life. Christ died and rose again so that we have victory through Him. Live in your victory. Victory is acknowledging your pain, surrendering it to the cross, and continuing your life to pursue whatever God has called you to do on this earth.

May God bless you in this season. May His peace that surpasses all understanding rule your heart and mind. May you feel His presence in your darkest moments bringing you back to your fruitful life.

God bless you all and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

In honor of my mom this holiday season. The reason I am who I am today. The woman who raised me to be a woman of God. The woman who taught me so so much more than baking.

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