Updated: Dec 24, 2020
You might have sweet memories of holiday magic from your childhood.
You can remember the warmth, the excitement, the energy. In fact, some of your best memories may be around the holidays.
But here you are decades later, and the usual cheer that comes with the holiday season is no where to be found.
In fact, holidays feel like a brutal reminder of what’s changed, what’s broken, and what’s been taken.
You look around at your family and you wonder how you all got here.
How did things get so bad?
How is there so much grief?
So much anger and resentment?
How are you supposed to go through this season with tension so thick a knife could cut it... or with that chair sitting there empty?
The loneliness creeps in.
Betrayal sits heavy.
Guilt floods in.
The lights, decorations and the sparkly things don’t do it anymore.
Because holidays are different when your family feels broken.
Because family is what makes the holidays.
So to you, the person struggling in the brokenness..
I want to remind you that you can only do so much. Only so much is in your control.
You can practice showing radical love to the difficult ones.. but you can’t change your family members.
You can choose forgiveness and surrender the resentment, but that doesn’t mean that things will change on their part.
You can accept responsibility, apologize and try to reconcile, but that doesn’t mean they’ll have any interest in it.
You can work really hard to find gratitude and thankfulness in this season, and I know you can find it!
But they still might not come back, and things still might be hard.
You don’t have control over your family. You only have control over yourself and how you respond to them.
So I pray that in the brokenness you will lean on Jesus, and surrender what isn’t yours to carry.
I pray your eyes will be focused on Him, and even if love feels so void in your home, it’ll feel overwhelming from your Creator.
I pray you will protect your heart, and also make sure to care for the hearts around you.
I pray that if you need a break or need some space, you’ll take it.
Holidays are different when your family feels broken.
But even here, God meets you.
His peace and joy are available if you’ll receive it.
Because these gifts were never dependent on how our family was doing, or the circumstances around us.
They are dependent on being near Jesus.
I pray, friend, that you will feel Him closer to you than anyone or anything else.
~Kelli Bachara, The Unraveling Blog