I was just going to post what I did last year about serving others at Christmas to take your mind off of your troubles, but I just can’t.
Yes, I will be serving Christmas dinner again this year to the community, but honestly I’m the one who really needs it. I need someplace to be. Though it will be hard because the place I will be holds memories I would rather forget, it is better than doing nothing.
I do want to serve God and the people who need someone this Christmas because I am one of them. This recovery journey has left me alone, abandoned and hurting. I used to love Christmas – for all the wrong reasons. Presents, songs, cheer. Now I wish we could just forget it.
The true reason is never focused on. Jesus has not been the reason for this season in this neck of the woods during my lifetime. It is all about eating as much as you can, having parties, and the pressure to be with family or someone on the 24th and 25th. Leaving those of us who cannot face being with family alone and abandoned. The way we felt as we were abused and raped.
All holidays have a way of bringing this to the forefront for those of us with our past. It is the sword we fall on in recovery. Yesterday I was so distraught I cried for hours and could not take the pain I was feeling – the emotional pain manifested in physical pain in my heart.
I cried out to God only to find Him silent. In that moment I made an unwise decision about how to deal with my pain and loneliness. The hopelessness I was feeling. No need to worry about me. I am fine, but these are the traps we fall easily into when we lose sight of the point of recovery.
After a long night of not really sleeping, but finally feeling the presence of God with me, I woke to a new day, but the same pain. In therapy my therapist reminded me that I must remember why I am getting better. “What keeps you moving on to get better? What is the point of your recovery?”
It is only when God provides us with the reason that we have no more hopelessness. Asking God for this reason and waiting for it is hard. Listening is hard. Why God? What is the point?
To be honest what I think in my mind is, “I had a much better plan in my head and it didn’t involve all this pain and loneliness so why are you torturing me?” God can handle that….but He also needs us to listen to what He’s going to do through us on this journey. He has great plans to use the pain we have been through and are going through for His glory. Honestly, I’m still learning the answer.
Jesus himself I believe understands how we feel. On the cross he asked God why He had forsaken him. Though it is debated whether God truly left him the one thing we know is Jesus “felt” alone and abandoned – just like we do.
So this Christmas, if you find yourself alone, even among others, know you are not alone in feeling that way. You are in good company with the rest of us, but we are all in the company of the One who came 2000 years ago. As hard as it will be, take a moment to remember the sacrifice Jesus made and that He more than anyone understands what we are feeling. I pray you find comfort in Him this Christmas.
© 2018 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.