Happy Harder-days

For some people November and December are magical months that just seem to defy gravity, their hearts feel lighter, a skip is added to each step, crisp air fills their lungs and their spirit soars above the heavens. They spread cheer and believe everything is a miracle.

But what are holidays like for the lonely, the broken, and discouraged? For a person who just can’t seem to catch a break, and life is slowly closing in on them. This is a season where financial, health, and family seem to work together to derail us from joy. The busy feeling of the hustle and bustle, agitated overworked retail workers near the breaking point, intensified family drama, and the loneliness that is amplified in every moment of this season that seems to stretch forever.

I have had many hard Christmas seasons throughout my life. Seasons that would seem to highlight and intensify the loneliness, the feelings of being disconnected from others, Forgotten, unwanted, and alone with my thoughts.

Christmas had come to the point where it was something I had to endure, family pressure builds and increases, and the stress that, through the rest of the year is spread out, is received in a concentrated dose. Having worked retail for many years, I find it difficult to even walk into a store; the decorations, the rush, the attitudes and demeanor of other shoppers, it brings back unhappy stressful memories.. it reminds me how life used to be. The despair, trudging through each day, just hoping that somehow I wouldn’t have to keep going anymore.

But things are different for me now because I chose to make things different, I let God change my heart.. I remember how it was.. but I make new memories, I step away from stress, I call my friends when I am lonely, and I give myself some quiet time when I feel like a grouch.

I choose to be joyful, I choose to love Christmas, I choose to spread cheer, because I remember why God sent his son to Earth. God loves me, he gave me his best. No matter what, he will stay with me. I am not alone because of him. So now when I meet someone who is in the place I once was I can tell them I know, I really do know. God loves them and when they choose him, they are never alone.

So if your like me and Christmas is hard or lonely even when you surrounded by others. It is important to understand that seasons come and go, and this season will come to a close. Make time for people, don’t stress, tomorrow may not seem better, it might even get worse, but it brings you closer to the horizon.

And maybe someday, sad memories will fade, and Christmas will be a season worth singing about.

Happy Harder-days!

– Sara Ahnert

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