it’s okay if it isn’t the best time of the year.

This past week was one of the toughest weeks of my life. And I hate saying that, because the universe is always like “You thought that was bad?! Check this out!!!”

It’s never a good idea.

However, seeing as I cried myself to sleep twice this past week, I think I can say that.

I called my best friend about halfway through the week and vented to her, then listened to her vent about her own rough week. Not gonna lie – she definitely had it worse, and I felt bad for complaining when all of that was going on and I didn’t even know it.

I found myself telling her that it didn’t even feel like Christmas. We don’t get too much snow here in Georgia, so I’ve only had a few white Christmases since moving here. We had Christmas music going at my work, but only for about a week because some of my coworkers complained. I haven’t watched many Christmas movies because I’ve been so tired from working eight-plus hours a day & driving almost three. With all that – plus all the drama going on in my life (it’s been kind of a nightmare) – it’s hard to get into the holly jolly mood.

On the phone that night, we ended up making plans to see one another that weekend because it had been way too long. The next Sunday, I went to church donned in a Christmas sweater and Santa hat (the youth building was having a Christmas outfit contest and, as a leader, there was no way I wasn’t going to participate) and blasted Josh Groban in my car. I did some Christmas shopping and got lost looking at Christmas lights before picking my best friend up from work, getting coffee and two pizzas to split in the car, and driving almost thirty minutes to see a massive Christmas light display that another friend told me about.

Because of that – those hours where I actively chose to go find some Christmas spirit – I definitely think that this week will be better. (Knock on wood.)

However, in those hours of driving around getting lost, before picking up my friend, I heard some bad family news and got into an argument with my sister that could have ruined the evening. It did for a while, as I ranted to my bestie, but then I tried to put it past me for at least a little while.

All that to say, I’ve gotten so caught up in the messiness and drama of everyday life that I’ve totally missed the actual spirit of Christmas. It’s so easy to get stuck in the ruts, isn’t it? To just lose yourself in the everyday routine and only see what’s directly in front of you instead of zooming out and seeing the bigger picture?

Something I’ve learned this season is that it’s okay if all the Christmas songs don’t actually ring true. If it’s not the best time of the year. If it’s not holly or jolly or if your heart can’t be light or if your troubles aren’t miles away.

It’s hard to say, but maybe all the awfulness brings us closer to Christ in this season?

I had a moment in my car on the way to church where I was just overwhelmed for a while, mostly with God’s goodness and grace. I don’t deserve anything He did, especially right now. But all this mess – this garbage we either choose or don’t choose to bring into our lives – is what He died for, isn’t it? He knew we’d have messy, beautiful, chaotic, passionate lives, and He still chose to make that decision.

This turned a lot more preachy than I wanted it to be and I apologize, but these are just some things that I’ve had on my mind lately. I am by no means someone to look up to, but I just thought I’d share a little of what I’ve been thinking and experiencing in hopes that maybe you guys could learn it without making the same mistakes I do.

Christmas is just around the corner, and I hope and pray that you all have a good one, regardless of whatever is going on in your lives.

Love you all, and Merry Christmas!

6 thoughts on “it’s okay if it isn’t the best time of the year.

  1. I’ve been thinking about that a good bit myself lately–about how Christmastime isn’t everybody’s favorite thing, and how it can actually be depressing for some people. Usually I love Christmas, but this winter has been a little tougher than past years, so I can kind of go in and out of not-so-happy funks. And you’re right, sometimes it’s kind of like, “Aw, I’m ‘missing’ Christmas & I’m not in the Christmas spirit & that’s sad”. But at the same time, maybe, like you said, God can teach us things during this season whatever our emotional state. He’s not boxed in by our feelings or whatever rough patches we may be going through, so maybe we shouldn’t try so hard to manufacture the “right” emotions all the time. ❤

    • Exactly! Something I’ve learned after writing this post is that the message Christmas really extends throughout the whole year. Christmas is when we celebrate, but if I’m feeling happy in, say, March, I can still be joyful. A devotional I read put it this way – “Joy & hope aren’t just Christmas words.” Praying for you & all the others who aren’t “feeling it” this year! Merry Christmas! 💚

  2. SENDING HUGS YOUR WAY

    I have two things that I try and remember when life gets a little tough:

    1) this too will pass – one day this trial/horrible moment/period of life will be over and history and done and dusted
    2) God is greater than anything I will ever face – He is more and He is able to conquer and He loves.

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!

  3. *all the hugs*

    We’re going to get through this crazy, stupid thing called Life together. And it will all be okay. Eventually. ❤

    I really needed to hear this, that we shouldn't feel pressure to BE HAPPY at Christmastime if things just aren't happy right now. You're so right. (After all, Mary and Joseph probably didn't pressure themselves to feel happy when they were in the middle of that super long, super unpleasant trek-by-donkey to Bethlehem in the middle of winter . . .)

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