We all know that this time of year can be a challenge for some of us- stressful, disheartening, melancholic, downright sad. The holiday season is filled with all sort of triggers-all the gift giving, holiday parties, family get togethers; stress about not having enough money, not fitting into the cute party outfits, all that food! Perhaps its the first holiday season without a loved one, or the first following a divorce, or perhaps there was a discouraging doctor’s report. And just watching the news can make one’s heart plummet. Sometimes its just simply too much. Without even a warning, the feelings just overwhelm and overpower us.
So how do we find peace in the midst of all this?
First, contrary to popular belief, having peace does not mean the absence of turmoil. It does not mean having it all together. It does not mean not feeling sad, or missing someone or grieving. It does not mean not feeling overwhelmed.
Being at peace means feeling all of this and knowing that there is always more.
It is knowing that there is not such thing as failure, only opportunity.
It is knowing that you can tell the truth (and hear it) in love.
It is knowing that when it seems as if you don’t have enough, YOU are enough!
It is knowing that death is not the end only a beginning.
It is knowing that a kind word or a hug or a smile could save someone’s life or give them…you, hope.
It is choosing hope and life and joy and healing even when you feel so depleted- it might not happen now but it will come.
It is knowing that seasons (of joy, of despondency, of loneliness, of satisfaction…) come and they go.
It is knowing that forgiveness of self, of others IS possible.
It is choosing actions/words/thoughts that give life…
It is knowing that every person has dignity no matter what they or you have done.
Peace brings joy and hope and healing. But peace is not easy. Its your choice.
I wish us all PEACE this season and always.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope! (Romans 15:13)