Some people think, how can you be depressed this time of year, while others think, how can you NOT be depressed this time of year?
I think it’s a careful balance, as most of life is, to remember that not everyone around you is going to be extra cheery. I was at the Fedex the other day and the woman ahead of me started babbling like I was an old friend about everything she had to do, and while I was like, um, yeah, nice. I was thinking, seriously? I am so glad I put down that pick axe I had in my hands a minute ago.
Thing is that for many people this time of year totally and completely BLOWS. Don’t forget this. Don’t blather on about all your holiday cheer unless you follow it up with, you wanna come? Because seriously, my husband didn’t buy me a diamond necklace, and my kids didn’t decorate a freakin gingerbread house, and I dont have any grandkids to spoil and the last song I want to hear right now is I Saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus.
And I’m not alone. I know that there are plenty of friends who are not single and childless, but are struggling with their own demons, trying to forge ahead with a smile and a song. They have plenty of reasons to find sorrow all around them, and someone comes along trying to cheer them up. But falling short of cleaning their house, buying their groceries, taking their kids for a few hours or fixing a leaking roof, they totally and completely FAIL at doing any kind of cheering at all. and even make it worse.
Yes, I’m laying a guilt trip. on myself just as much as you. I struggle at the end of a day, lying in bed, fighting back tears – thinking about failures, friends who I’ve lost, all the ghosts of the past plaguing my dreams. I wake up staring at my closet of clothes trying to figure out what the heck to wear, thinking all I want to do is crawl back into bed and wake up some time in April.
And yes, I get little happinesses all around me, and I never take them for granted. I love the season’s warm and bright spots. I love the lights and the candles and the glitter. But they just aren’t enough sometimes. And there’s nothing wrong with me.
And yet there is. I am a fallen, sinful soul. In desperate need. I am pure crap some times and full of guilt and shame. I have nothing good in me or about me. And I need a Savior.
Good thing there is One. And maybe the Joy of the season is best reflected in Mary… in the quiet of the night, alone, and in a more meaningful way than all the hoopla we try to conjure up. And I wish you all TRUE JOY and HOPE and LOVE beyond compare. And more than any gift you ever receive in your lifetime, I wish you GRACE and TRUTH in your heart, because without that, any happiness you have will drift away like the snow.
“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 ESV