I think that first Christmas we were all just so completely numb, and by the second, we were realising that things would just never be the same again.
As I prayed and thought of what I might share at this GriefShare meeting, and the points I wanted to get across, I thought of this simple, easy-to-remember acrostic— J-O-Y. You may have heard of it before (Jesus - Others - You), but for this group of hurting friends, I wanted to put just a little bit of a different spin on it. It's one we all can benefit from this Christmas.
"As we journey with Jesus we are called upon to serve as a life-giving presence in places that suffer heartbreak and despair. Let's keep looking for opportunities to extend the joy, hope and love of Jesus." —Jason Daye
I am reminded of the death of King David's son in 2 Samuel 12. While the child was ill David fasted and prayed. He laid all night on the ground by the child. He did this for seven days the Bible says. Then, the child died and this is what God's Word records:
I love that the first thing David did after cleaning himself up is that he went into the house of the Lord and he worshiped. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness and permission to feel joy and happiness again.
I understand, friend, that this season may be especially difficult for you. I truly do understand. I've been there. But I promise you, it won't always be like this. This season will pass, and although you will still miss your loved one, it will get easier. I promise. You will remember the fond memories. You will smile again. You will laugh again, without guilt, and best of all, you will learn how to create JOY again.
Download the JOY Card
We think of Thanksgiving as the season of thankfulness and Christmas as the season of giving (or getting). But can't we continue to be thankful right on into the Christmas season, and beyond? This Christmas, consider using the JOY Card to continue the thankfulness you started in November and spread that thanks to those who have had a part in your life to get you to where you are today.
Join the movement, download and print the JOY Card and start sending out notes of thanks today. You can purchase a premium pack of 100 dark gray envelopes here and a set of silver and gold metallic markers here (or visit your local craft story) and be on your way to a thankful holiday season that focuses on Jesus and others.
“At times, life’s path seems filled with things that make the going rough, and we wish there were a smoother road, for we feel we’ve had enough. But, if we pause a moment and remember Who’s in charge, the hills that loom ahead of us no longer seem so large, and every rock before us, when we know we’re not alone, becomes, not just a stumbling block, but one more steppingstone.” —Emily Matthews
I will tell you, friend, whatever you are going through today, take notes, because there are a lot of hurting people behind you and your story will be their roadmap. How have you created JOY in a season of grief?
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