“Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.” Jeremiah 33:6
I am currently attending a conference on trauma, and learning a great deal about various forms of trauma, especially the areas I do not specialize in. One of the issues that came to mind this past week is the trauma experienced during the holiday season.
Many of us have lost loved ones or have made drastic changes in our lives that has altered the way we navigate or celebrate the holidays. This can be very traumatic for some, not necessarily because of the loss or change we experienced, but due to the inner torment experienced resulting from the expectation we place on ourselves on how we must show up for the holidays.
It is difficult in any situation to force a feeling we do not have, especially this time of year. It can be a great deal of pressure to “show up” for others when we are struggling to show up for ourselves.
Not like you need my permission, but sometimes we simply need to hear it. So, let me say this with love, it is OK to give yourself space to “make space” for you. It is OK to celebrate the holidays the way you want to celebrate them, even if this means being alone. It is OK to not be in the mood to celebrate at all. It is OK to approach the holidays the way your heart is prepared to approach them.
I would say however, it is not healthy to sulk too long as this pave the way for depression. At the same time, it is just as unhealthy to push ourselves too soon or too much. This causes emotional instability and can manifest itself physically and make us sick. Therefore, take time for you, and find the healthy balance you need to move forward.
Approach today and every day with the understanding, the LORD is always in the healing business. HE continues to work on us and within us to bring us through the saddest times in our lives. HE is a restorer. Let HIM restore! HE is a healer. Let HIM heal! Reach out and lean on HIM for the support and guidance you need as you spend time in the space you make for yourself.
Whatever you are going through, I do pray you find the comfort you need to wake with joy in your heart. The joy that carries you from one minute to the next, from one hour to the next, and from one day to the next. Please know you are not alone; the LORD is always with you.
In His service,
God bless you,
Reverend Marshall is a Sexual Trauma Restorative Counselor. She helps survivors of sexual assault reclaim their lives by providing a pathway to emotional healing and restoration through spiritual counseling.