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The Bible Today

I have had a few family losses this year and I can’t seem to get into the holidays. How can I get past this?

The holiday season this year may be a particularly difficult time for many individuals, especially for those who have lost loved ones or had significant life changing events. Because of the mandates and restrictions for gatherings, some people may approach the holidays missing the “good old days”. They compare their current situation with the glitter, hype, and happy images of what they may have experienced in the past. The holidays, which are traditionally a time of love and family, can then become a source of reminders of current difficulties. This can create a kind of alienation because we can’t participate in the joy of the Season and in our relationships. This puts us in the position of unfamiliar territory. But take heart. God has designed us to withstand challenge and we can live a varied and rich life. Difficulty adjusting to the new life changes is normal, but it doesn’t have to become a lifestyle. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 tells us, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who have died, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.” This scripture declares that if we are believers, we will always have the promises and faithful relationship with our Savior to lean upon through any storm. No matter what, we shouldn’t forget this Hope!

Another challenge, and sometimes the most difficult, is the loss of the traditions and “usual” events that you experienced with your loved ones. You must now create a “new normal” without being surrounded by family or friends, participate in traditional activities or travel, or other holiday events. But please be encouraged, you can choose to feel joy again as you allow the presence of the Lord to enter into your heart. Give yourself permission to create a new happiness and traditions while you focus on the love and the blessings available to you. While it’s okay to remember the past, use them as a springboard while you create your new, temporary, reality and traditions. These holidays, as well as every day of your life, can then become a time of joy!

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