3 Reasons Why Christmas Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect

By December 19, 2014 One Comment
ricekrispies

{i love making rice krispies. they’re fun to eat.
but the real Christmas meant for our hearts
was never meant to be cookie cutter perfect}

The night was silent, but my heart did not feel peaceful at all.

The tree at church was hung with gold and silver ornaments, garnished with velvet red ribbon, and the choir was singing such a beautiful song the night before Christmas. But my heart was heavy. I was thirty years old, single, feeling very lonely.

I didn’t want to drive back home that night to my family of origin. Dysfunctional family relationships had plagued me and every year, the holidays make everyone and everything worse.

Dreams once young and unbroken had faded into disappointment.

Everything looked like it was going well on the outside, but deep in my heart, I lost the spark I once breathed as oxygen.

But, I did not dare tell a soul.

So Lonely

I felt numb, moving through the motions of Christmas because it was Jesus’ birthday, and I didn’t want to ruin Christmas for him or anyone else. Someone might tell me I shouldn’t worry, that I should be thankful. They would misunderstand my struggling heart with a lack of gratefulness.

When you’re in emotional pain, in need of comfort and kinship, words that deny your wounds can break your heart.

I tried to drive home in the rain, but I pulled over to the side of the road, blinded by choking tears that couldn’t be swallowed down. I cried so bitterly, hunched over the steering wheel with a weariness so deep, the sheets of rain could not drown out my despair.

I felt ashamed crying there on Christmas Eve — when it was the birth of the King of Kings, my Lord and Savior.

I’m so lonely. I sputtered.

I didn’t know God heard these words as my prayer, but as I looked out my front windshield, the ambient streetlights seemed to sparkle each raindrop on the window pane like stars in the dark night sky.

A star. A very bright star.

The First Silent Night

In that very quiet moment, with my eyes puffy and nose stuffy, I thought about the first silent night Jesus was born. God began to remind me why Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect, by bringing me close to those who were there that first silent night.

Here are 3 Reasons Why Christmas Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect

1. My life can be imperfect, because God’s promise of hope is perfect.

God’s Promise of Hope Doesn’t Depend on Me. The shepherds, they were poor. Weren’t they lonely?

When they were looking at the dark sky the night Jesus was born, did they think that night would be any different than the countless others?

It wasn’t a perfect night. It was an ordinary night. One minute it was dark, yet the next minute, a light so small became a blinding sky filled with hundreds of angels singing, just for them.

Shepherds were marginalized by society, stereotyped with social stigma as uneducated. Yet, the news of hope came to them – exclusively. The same is true for my life. I may not see a way out, but the darkness is only temporary because God will not forget me.

God can show up at anytime and he will. But, I must be like the shepherds, ready to take action and leave where I’m at and go where he tells me to go.

Are you wondering how things can ever change for you? Do you feel left out of the picture-perfect images of Christmas?

Look at the images of the real, first Christmas and who God chose to come very close to His newborn Son that first night. You are not forgotten. God sees where you are and he draws near to the very parts of your story you might think are imperfect or ordinary — and he loves you. You are never too far from hope because you are in God’s arms, even as he carries you through the dark.

“even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” Psalm 139:12

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” Isaiah 46:4

2. I may be holding imperfect, broken dreams but God holds me in His perfect plans.

Mary was pregnant under the most imperfect situations. I wondered if Mary held broken dreams like me, about her wedding, about her birth announcement, and her birth plan, involving family and friends.

Instead, those dreams faded to a different reality.

To be continued….

Catch the rest of Encouragement #2 and #3… on why Christmas Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect.

… Today’s post is published on iBelieve.com. Click here to read the rest of the article 5 3 Reasons Why Christmas Doesn’t Have To Be Perfects on iBelieve.com.  Head on over and take a virtual coffee break with me there.

 

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The holidays brings up a pressure to to have a perfect Christmas – it’s a hot topic.  I’ve been invited to talk about holiday stress on a few different radio interviews too. Is this a hot topic for you?

 It may feel painful when Christmas isn’t perfect. That’s okay. Because the Christmas story — the real story of hope, peace, joy and love — tells us that it doesn’t have to be.

~~~~~

Are you feeling pressure going into these last days before christmas?

Pull up a chair.  Click to comment.  This is a sweet place for your soul. And mine.  

Update: Whitespace Thursdays Link Up

Hi friends, let’s take a break from Whitespace Linkup the rest of December.  Enjoy as much whitespace as your soul prompts – and get ready to write and share in the new year!!

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Get Ready for 2015: our Spiritual WhitespaceBook Club starts January!
Order your copy and get ready to be soul refreshed!


Bonnie Gray Book Club BlogChristmasGift_IGFinal

 

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Because some days you need a double shot of faith