I know you’re out there.
You’re the one whose heart aches with each post about Christmas.
Where walking through the store is a challenge.
Your life is messy, or scary, or confusing.
You feel alone.
It’s hard now, at Christmas, isn’t it?
When the world, and bloggers, seem to have beautifully packaged lives. Pictures and recipes and gifts and laughter and happiness.
Inside you feel sad.
Why doesn’t anyone notice? Why does it have to be so hard?
Why at Christmas?
Don’t people know? Don’t they know that it’s hard to do Christmas when life is so hard?
Do they see?
I remember walking through Target, with eyes brimming with tears, wishing someone knew that the only reason I was there was to try to find blackberries for the nausea for my husband that was caused by pain-meds from cancer surgery. I remember feeling sad and angry and bitter when I saw the carts bursting with goodies — like I wasn’t a part of the grand celebration.
I relied on God greatly during that Christmas. God blessed me with a strength I didn’t know I had. A strength to push that cart through Target and to say thank you to the cashier — and not cry. At least not every time.
I remember thinking about all the hidden others, masked behind their lives, carrying loads. Burdens.
Will you remember?
That perhaps that mom that is a bit shorter with her kids, or you, or the cashier, might just have a husband at home sick?
That there are many others who would love to fill a cart with food at Target?
That people, and friends, are way more important than things?
That there is a tomorrow. There is hope.
There is joy.
Even when life is hard?
At this time of year it is such a good reminder to be aware we don’t always know the whole story, what others may be going through. Thank you for nudging me to be more considerate.
What a beautiful post.
This was wonderful – a beautiful reminder that we don’t always know the whole story.
Thank you for reminding me of the power of posting about what’s *not* perfect….especially during the holidays.
Amen Rachel! Four years ago this holiday season I gave birth to my son and they weren’t sure would survive the first night. I left our Christmas Eve service in tears that year to go be with him in the NICU…we got our miracle and he survived and came home to us Christmas Day. That Christmas forward has ALWAYS been a time of thanksgiving and remembrance and love and compassion for those going through impossibly difficult things this time of year. The husband of a dear friend of mine started his first round of Chemo treatments the week of Thanksgiving. It’s NOT all about stuff!! Thank you for the powerful reminder.
Such a beautiful post…you always put things into amazing perspective. Thank you for that incredible reminder. This year, I’m going to cherish the little memories, the hugs from family, the smiles on friend’s faces, and the joy in people’s voices a little more 🙂
This time of the year is so very hard for so many. And this year is the first Christmas without their loved one for so very many….
Praying in Seattle!
Psalms 121:3-5 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
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Rachel, thank you for this beautiful post. Even though I do not have some of the issues that many do with missing loved ones or having those around them that are suffering, it’s hard for me to see all the displays of gift giving, etc. Money is so tight. We don’t even have a lot of decorations. But we get through, yet my heart yearns for more. I am learning to be content although it’s a struggle. I so want to find joy in the simple things.
Beautiful post. I remember walking a very similar path 10 years ago and I remember feeling very jealous of all the people going about their happy lives. But like everything ‘this too passed’.
Blessings to you and your family this christmas.
Amazing post…you are spot on and are speaking to many people that are going through hard times right now.
A couple years ago when I was going through a life changing event, I had to shut myself off to the outside world. The Lord saw me through though, and I’m much better off today!
My family and I put up our
tree and I am Christmas
shopping and I will wrap
gifts and cook wonderful
meals and we will celebrate
the birth of our Savior and
Lord. But we know and live
out our pain each and every
day because our family is
not normal. Our son is
autistic and suffers greatly.
I walked through the stores
even yesterday with my other
son and we tried to find a
gift to brighten the day of
his brother who does basically
nothing day after day but
suffer. We know and remember
all those for whom Christmas
is very hard.BUT GOD…He alone
makes life worth living.
Beautiful post and SO true!
Thank you for sharing! 🙂
This is so very beautiful!
Wow, such a touching, personal, and deeply heartfelt post! Thanks for reminding us all that it’s not always a joyous time for everyone! Wishing you all the best and many blessings this Holiday season!
What a lovely post and a wise perspective. Thank you for the gentle reminder that there are heavy hearts out there even (especially) during this time of year. We need to be kinder, all the way around.
This was very well written. I remember a time like that too.
I think today I needed to be reminded of that. And that God got me through it, even though it was painful.
Thanks for sharing this! I too have had some pretty rough Christmasses where everyone was happy except me.
This is one of the reasons my family and I have started giving Christmas to those who are lonley and sad. We give up our Christmas dinner at home to put on one at our church and invite those who are alone or cannot afford to have a special dinner.
God bless you,
Beautiful Rachel, just beautiful!
Yes, the holidays can be very painful for many.
I have several close friends who have lost children to cancer during this time of the year.
My son is a cancer survivor.
So blessed to read your husband is one also.
Thank God for His amazing GRACE that carries us.
So nice to meet you♥
This came at the perfect time! God bless you Rachel and thank you for letting God use you as a vessel to others.
This is a great reminder. Thank you!
Last year I was dealing with losing my baby at Christmas, and you’re right….you never know what someone is going through.
I had an OB appointment today and almost wore my new shirt that is red and Christmasey and says, “Tis the Season to be pregnant”
I decided not because those OB offices are FILLED with women who are struggling to get pregnant or who have just lost a baby. I would never want to add to their pain.
Thank you Rachel!
I got all welled up with this one, Rachel. I remember having to get through Christmas after a very painful time. The world around me felt surreal and the sadness inside, overwhelming. The Lord saw me through all of that and I’m glad you reminded me, so when I see people who are less than happy with the season, I’ll remember that there is so much more than meets the eye!
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Wow. Very powerful. I loved reading it!
I have to say, your posts always keep me grounded. I take a step back and think about things more than I normally would. Thank you for that. Your challenges are hope for others 🙂
okay, this is my favorite post ever, mainly because i’ve never read anything like it. but this was so necessary. it totally speaks to what so many people may be going through. you completely opened my eyes and i’m certain i won’t forget this perspective.
Beautiful post Rachel. I like what you said about how bloggers lives look so perfect…we only post the beautiful, right? I bet there are more people who are hurting than we’ll ever know. Xo
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I’m sorry you’ve gone through some painful holidays. I have too. This is a beautifully written and extremely important post. Thanks for putting this perspective into such eloquent words.
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