Finding Hope This Holiday Season
Sadly, many people have a difficult time during the holidays.
If you’re dealing with depression, whether it’s caused by devastating circumstances or is a chronic emotional struggle, this Thanksgiving may have been a sad Thanksgiving for you.
Years ago, I suffered with chronic depression that resulted in multiple hospitalizations. I understand some of what you’re experiencing. I know firsthand the darkness and hopelessness depression brings so I’d like to share a few thoughts.
First, don’t believe the lie that no one cares. Sometimes people say all the wrong things and lose patience with your timetable for overcoming depression. They don’t mean to be insensitive. Truth be told, I often fall short when dealing with others’ ongoing struggles – even though I battled depression for years.
Second, I’d like to suggest something you’ve probably heard before, especially from your church friends: Pray. If someone has said this, you’ve probably felt frustrated. You have prayed – and prayed and prayed. But since friends and family aren’t able to provide everything you need at this time (as much as they’d like to), consider going, once again, to Someone Who is bigger than your depression.
Cry out to God – even if you’ve cried out more times than you can count. Tell Him about your sadness, disappointments and fears. Tell Him you’re scared you’ll never get better, and how you’ve already worn out everyone around you. Shut everything off, spend time with God and allow your heavenly Father prove His inexhaustible compassion for you.
Hebrews 4:16 (ESV), one of my favorite verses, offers a lot of encouragement:
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Draw near to the throne of grace – with confidence.
God is fully aware of your reality. He will listen for as long as you need Him to. You can’t wear Him out. He longs to tell you He loves you, over and over again. Especially now.
Spend as much time as you need reading God’s Word, talking to Him and allowing His Word speak to your heart. Displace the darkness by focusing on Him. When you meditate on God’s Word, you’ll rediscover how much your heavenly Father loves you.
You can survive depression.
You can experience true hope.
I pray you find that hope this holiday season.
What about you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post. (Others might also benefit from your comment.)
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This is certainly an important topic for the holidays. Many people feel more alone than ever at this time. Thank you for the reminder.
You’re right, Barbara. As wonderful as holidays are for most of us – they can be a very difficult season for others.
Sheryl, thank you for your timely blog message in which you offer compassionate hope to those who are suffering from depression during this holiday season. May it serve as an encouragement to all who read it to reach out to God in prayer. May we each remember the importance of being dependent on our merciful Father, especially when we feel we have no hope, and rest in the strength He brings to our hearts! Amen! ❤ (Honored to share on our A Women’s Fellowship/Ministry community page outreach and on my Timeline.]
I appreciate your heart, Joyce! And thank you for sharing my devotion on the A Women’s Fellowship/Ministry community page outreach and on your Facebook page.
Thank you, Sheryl, I too have suffered from depression. I am still on my meds but the Lord is healing me.
I’m glad to hear God is healing you, Michelle. And I”m glad you and your doctor found the right medication for you.