By Megs, Crosswalk.com
Divorce doesn’t have to be the crushing end to all Christmas traditions. Hope does not have to fade as the picturesque view of a familiar life wanes. Christmas is the celebration of the hope Jesus brought into the world with His infant cries.
Hope lives in Jesus-filled hearts.
1. Don’t Let it Define You
Both Christian and agnostic folks have an opinion about the right or wrong of marriages that end in divorce. The holiday season brings them all together and sits them down right in front of you with a stage to speak their truth. Don’t be defined by it.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
When God says He loves you, He loves you. There’s no “if” or “unless” attached.
2. Let it Go
God is pretty clear about the simplicity of Christianity. Accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior. That’s it. But we are really good at adding stipulations to be worthy of the title. Focus on God’s truth, which says if we confess our sins and repent of them, we are forgiven.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Our mistakes will continue to accumulate until we meet God in Heaven. Become habitual about forgiving yourself, as God forgives you.
3. Keep Moving
Gifts, Christmas parties, family visits, volunteering… before the motion of each day’s to-do list, sit in the quiet morning and spend time with God. He is there in His Word waiting to apply His love to broken places. Divorce can rub emotions raw. Keep moving towards Him, and he will strengthen your motions, one day at a time.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.” (Psalm 28:7)
Pray with me:
Father, praise You for your powerful love. Beyond my understanding, You are there. When the chill of winter takes my breath away, I am reminded of the power of Your Creation. Before the icy air hits the North, You signal the birds to fly. Knowing they are too delicate to survive the harsh freeze, You beckon them South. Divorce threatens to steal my hope, but You are there waiting with Your arms open… calling me to come to Your warm embrace in exchange for the chill of worldly reason.
This Christmas is hard. I don’t want to keep moving. I don’t want to let go. Who was I before two became one? I’m drowning, though I sit in a chair. They will all gather around this Christmas, and wonder if I’m falling apart. They will all want to share a piece of their broken heart, but I fear mine has no room left to receive… nonetheless give. There’s an emptiness in the traditions I once looked forward to. Yet, in the emptiness, I remember Jesus. Though blurred by tears of sorrow, I see my Savior. A tiny baby in a manger. And He is enough hope to hold onto.
Thank you, Father, for Your protection and blessing. For the things that I only sense in the still of the morning, but cannot always see. My heart hurts, but I know you are there. Thank you for your grace, forgiveness, and love… for new beginnings out of the ashes of old dreams, and warm memories to sweep over the darkness.
Father, you tell us that we are to confess and be forgiven. That all sins are equal in your eyes. Yet, in this world, it does not always feel that way. I confess the tendency to look around for answers before I look up to You for direction. Father, may your forgiveness wash over my heart and cleanse my soul as I let go. May I obediently follow your guidance through the pain of a marriage once full of hope, and now broken to pieces.
Bless and heal my heart, in the places that I don’t even realize need attention. Pull out all bitterness, envy, malice, and strife. Soften both of our hearts as we separate what once brought us so much joy. It’s hard to understand how I ended up here, and I accept that I may never truly know why. I trust you with my heart and my life. My hope is in you. Send the power of Your Spirit… Your Son… to bring the fresh hope of Christmas into my life, so I may keep moving as a witness of Your love to those placed around me. Thank you for reminding me that I am ever-loved, and never alone. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Megs is a stay-at-home mom and blogger at http://sunnyand80.org, where she writes about everyday life within the love of Christ.
Photo courtesy: © Getty Images/Kerkez