It’s hard to manage a life loss at Christmas. A season that should be filled with joy, cheer, and hope. But for you – it’s just not! You may feel you are drowning in sadness . . . cut off from good things . . . observing others’ joy as a dream . . . wanting so badly for hope and cheer – yet not wanting to let go of your loss. So, what can you do?
Here is a list of positive action steps to help you turn the corner in your loss. These steps help you navigate Christmas – and all year.
POSITIVE ACTION STEPS TO TURN THE CORNER IN YOUR LOSS
- Be honest and real about your life event and loss.
- Remember, your reality is extremely important to God. He cares and loves you. He wants to help you accept and adjust. Draw close to God and renew your hope.
- Refuse to blame God. He did not pick you out of the crowd to pierce your heart. Quite the opposite. He singled you out of the crowd – and became a Baby. He took into His grown-up body the pierce that threatened your life eternally. His work on the cross gives hope, even in painful seasons. If you are seeking to place blame, remember your enemy who hates you and uses this broken world to pierce people.
- Ask God to help you be extra aware of His dear presence. Bathe continually in His deep, abiding, dependable love for you. Release yourself into God, and embrace His grace. You will never regret this leap of love. And you’ll find unexplained peace even in your pain. (Phil.4:7)
- Keep being real. Weep. Be honest. But refuse to stunt your life or become paralyzed. There is more of your life ahead. God is still good and wants to prove that to you. Let Him.
- Keep negative, downward-cycling thought patterns out of your head. These are not even part of grieving. They are self-absorbed and unhealthy, in good times or bad. Healthy grieving spends time with memories and then seeks to move forward, even though there is extreme sadness. There may even be anger. This is normal. Grieving can co-exist with the good that is still present in life. Actively guard your heart against the downward cycle that will literally funnel the very life out of you.
- As you identify voids now, begin to fill them with positive, healthy events, people, and traditions. You are not neglectful or disrespectful of the person, provision, or experience that was once dear to you as you welcome new blessings into your life. In fact, by moving forward with your dear memories and your wishes it could have been different, you validate them. They have given you good reason to grieve. So, make the loss worthwhile. Let God redeem it. Practice positive strokes and open your heart to healing.
- Proactively seek to build with others again. Be a tiny bit adventurous. Try new things. Let courage grow. Take your dear memories into your future with you. In fact, let them propel you into experiences and relationships that will create more memories. They are part of you now. Don’t be afraid of them. Embrace them.
As you apply these action steps, you intentionally practice being a healthy person.
What you practice is what you become.
Although our life situations and details are different, my life is not that much different than yours. Sorrow slams into my world, too. Crisis works to beat me down. Despair whispers lies. Energy is depleted. Dreams get smashed. So why do I still look forward to Christmas with such passion? Why is there still a bounce in my step? What gives perspective and balance?
It’s Emmanuel! “God With Us.” I believe Him. That helps me rest in His active medicinal love. And I am healed.
If God didn’t care so much about your heartaches, He would not have become a baby at Christmas. This eternal King from a greater dimension, packed Himself into a tiny baby’s body because He loves you. His plan? Suffer with and for His dear people. Help them. Show God’s love. Forgive sins. Heal bodies. Raise the dead. To die and pay for sin once-for-all. To conquer death. To share God’s heart.
One day, He will come back – not in a baby’s body – but as a great, powerful, majestic, terrifyingly holy and beautiful King, to rule forever. A King who extends intimate, loving friendship to you. Under His rule, no one will ever suffer again or die. Every need will be met abundantly. The aching human heart will be healed. No one will be afraid. Reunions. Precious traditions celebrated, perhaps some new ones you welcome into your life in Action Step #7. Your future is guaranteed. Fabulous good will never end. Sorrows will become a distant memory as all things are made new. (Rev. 21:5)