A fire consumes your home and belongings; you lose precious family heirlooms because you couldn’t afford to pay the storage bill; you lose your domain name to your website and someone else buys it and offers to sell it back to you for a substancial fee; your business fails causing you go bankrupt; your home goes into foreclosure and you are faced with having to move; you lose a loved one.
MOURNING, LOSS AND GRIEF
In these times, it can seem like the Lord has forsaken you, and mourning the loss of something precious is natural. However, as time passes, you have to leave the past in the past and look forward to the future [2 Samuel 12]. Sometimes, that means taking it one day at a time, but the way you take those days makes all the difference in the world. You can stay focused on the loss or you can move toward the future [Jeremiah 29:11].
Do you know how we got the Amber Alert system? It was the result of a grieving parent’s desire to catch perpetrators that steal children. [Google it]. He productively channeled his grief into making other children safer through the legal system. For example if your child died of an overdose, maybe you should volunteer at a drug rehabilitation center or at the very least (which is actually the most powerful) PRAY for kids that are headed for the same fate. My mother died of complications from diabetes. When I was diagnosed with the same disease, I changed my lifestyle and shared tips to encourage others.
If your grief has no purpose, it is time to let it go. It is doing nothing of value. It is simply draining you, and you are allowing it to drag you into a pit. Believe me, I understand more than you know. I battled depression for most of my life, but now I understand that I have power over my feelings, attitude and thoughts.
TIPS FOR COMBATING THE BLUES: Memorize scriptures that remind you of God’s promises. Listen to inspirational audiobooks that encourage you. Play uplifting music and dance. Take better care of your mind, body and spirit. Engage in activities and entertainment that give you joy. [Proverbs 17:22] And don’t forget to examine your heart about what you think is funny. [Ephesians 4:29].
LOSS OF THINGS:
As for material things, they can all be acquired again. Imagine bigger and better. But, first Learn from your mistakes. Learn to be good stewards over what the Lord gives you. Forgive yourself. Move on. Don’t allow the devil to steal your joy. Sing – “Ive got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart, down in my heart. I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart to stay.” Take that devil!!!
TIPS FOR MANAGING HOLIDAY BLUES AND ANNUAL DEPRESSION
Instead of morbidly dwelling on the anniversary of a loved ones death – try celebrating their life on their birthday instead. Seasonal depression may seem normal, but it’s not. It’s actually very sad that people get so familiar and comfortable with misery that they think it’s normal, even to the point of defending it.
THINK ABOUT THIS: Of course the devil (the enemy of your soul) wants you to be depressed during this blessed time of year when much of the world celebrates the birth of Christ. Although you wouldn’t know that’s what we’re celebrating by watching holiday movies or TV shows – they tell every tale they can imagine to avoid the real reason for the season (the more perverse the better). Just know that this is a demonic ploy to distract you from the joy you should experience because of the miraculous birth of the Son of God who continues to save souls and give eternal life to countless generations. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS!!
LIGHTEN UP: If necessary, take the pressure off. Minimize the gift giving. Give love, and other personal things (like heirlooms, photo albums, family history). Give to those less fortunate and teach your children to be generous, too. Don’t stress out about buying and preparing a big feast if you can’t afford it. Have a pot luck. Invite friends and family members to bring a dish or eat whatever you have and be grateful for it. You don’t have to stick to traditions established way before your time. Start new traditions built on the testimony of Christ instead of materialism and lies. Tell your children Bible stories and teach them about the real Saint Nick. Engage. Interact. It’s about quality time, not presents. It’s about the present, which is the real gift because it is all we have in this moment.