Processing and Discovering the Joy and Hope within Christmas

December 16, 2019 6:48 AM

This morning I woke up around 1:00 AM which to be honest I am totally unphased by now…my prayer warrior folks know about that no sleep life LOL…but I woke up with some different things on my heart so I began to pray and decided to listen to a song on YouTube titled “All I Know Your Love Endures”. As I began to play the video, which to be honest has been on repeat for a few weeks now, however, this time around I really began to feel the significance of the lyrics and it brought tears to my eyes.

(Courtesy of YouTube - All I Know Your Love Endures // Kalley Heiligenthal & Jeremy Riddle, Bethel Music)


“All I know is this, that your love
endures through every change."

Those words really hit me and little did I know I was about to spend the rest of the morning processing and discovering with the Lord the joy and hope within Christmas.

Unfortunately, like many individuals I don’t look forward to Christmas. To be honest I usually dread the Christmas church service where classics like “Joy to the World” and “Gloria” are sung and people weep and/or smile while I stand there looking at the clock wondering when is this is all going to end. I are probably shocked that I just admitted that, but I am not the only one. It has been a time of the complete opposite of joy and hope. The last time I felt joy during this season was when I received a Gameboy Advance as a present. Now, I am not about to age myself but what I received as a present should tell that was a LONG time ago ahahaha!

He is and will always be the Light
that outshines darkness.

Christmas for myself is often a season of disappointment, sadness and grief. It is a season filled with the trauma of losing family members in a fire days before Christmas, going to the hospital trying to comfort the surviving family members while witnessing their burns and wounds and then having to relive that moment everyday for weeks as the media had a field day with our family “Christmas Tragedy.”

Every year around November I start to “prepare” myself emotionally for Christmas and by “prepare,” I mean emotionally shoving everything down, bracing myself for the December blow and then trying to recollect myself in January.

If there is one thing I have learned over the years in regards to tragedy and grief is that it is a process that takes time and understanding from those around you. However, this season the Lord has been wrecking me and I am processing and discovering something new...that even within the darkness (disappointment, sadness and grief) He is and will always be the Light that outshines darkness and with that comes joy and hope.

Ya’ll it is HARD because it involves the process of fixing my eyes, heart and mind higher and not allowing myself to be consumed by the darkness (disappointment, sadness and grief). It is a process of going deeper in the Word so that I am rooted in truth. It is a process of believing that HE is my JOY and HOPE. It is a process of understanding that in that likkle shack (LOL) in Bethlehem JOY and HOPE entered into the world and it is mine FOREVER!

Joy and hope doesn’t go has not been stolen from me as a matter of fact joy and hope are always present it just comes down to choices.

Yes, the choice of I can continue to believe and focus on the bad or I can choose to focus on/find good, believe and see how much of this season really is about the joy and hope found in Jesus. It is not just about gifts, Egg Nog and Rum Cake…I love me some Egg Nog and my Grandma’s Rum Cake though.

What I have found helpful and want to suggest to you during the Christmas season is to try to find a way to grasp on to joy and hope. It could be as small as getting up and sitting on your couch after being in bed for days. That is for YOU to decide, how to grasp on to joy and hope during difficult times. It is between you and GOD and involves honesty.

In life terrible things happen and
it can be hard to move forward,
but don't allow for it to steal your
joy and hope.

Let me share one last thing.

July 2018 a friend of mine committed suicide two weeks before my birthday and I am STILL processing it, and that is okay. There have been times I felt angry and guilt for missing his funeral by a day. There are the thoughts of I could have done more or what would have been different if I didn’t go on a “sabbatical”…LOL all till now my behind hasn’t gone on no sabbatical because every time I am about to sit down something comes up *kisses teeth extremely loud*. Low key I don’t really need a sabbatical my behind just needs to accept the different ways God has allowed me to rest this year.

Losing a loved one by suicide is a terrible feeling that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. It’s interesting because we all have felt that way…suicide (the big scary word) but yet we are devastated when it happens to someone else.

The human mind continues to intrigue me.

However, as the days, weeks and year went by I am finding closure not only with that suicide but also previous deaths. Actually sometimes I wonder about God's sense of humor, because where I attend church is in the exact same area of the fire members of my family were in and every Sunday I would have to pass that hospital until one day I had enough…I legit rolled my eyes, kissed my teeth and now drive a completely different way to church LOL. The hospital will always be there, that area will always be there but it is not going to steal my joy and hope and if I have to drive a different way for the time being then so be it!

Joy and hope are everlasting and if it is not present then we need to spend time checking to see where or what areas in our life we have given it away. Yes, it’s the hard piece and if someone told me this a couple years ago I would of gave them a piece of my mind in some not so nice Jamaican dialect. But it is a truth that needs to be heard to help with moving forward.

This is my encouragement and truth for you today, that through every change...even the difficult ones... the love of God still endures and with that there is joy and hope. Below I created a graphic of a list of songs that have been helpful for me this season (I may or may not have totally rolled my eyes at the fact that I made a playlist and titled it Christmas…tad bit still a Grinch).

Take time out to really reflect on what stood out to you from this post. Did any anger arise while reading? Did any sadness arise while reading? Did any stubbornness arise while reading? “mi nah do dem ting deh”… Did any joy and hope arise while reading?

These are only a few but important things to really spend time honestly reflecting on. Lastly, keep me in your prayers as I keep you in mine and as always…I love you.

Here are some songs that may uplift you during this season.

All Hail King Jesus

- Jeremy Riddle

All I Know Your Love Endures

- Kalley H, Bethel Music

Living Hope

- Phil Wickham
- David and Nicole Binion, feat. Stefany Gretzinger
- Vineyard Worship
- Jenn Johnson, Bethel Music
- Housefires
- Hillsong


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