Christmas in Recovery

By Janet Boynes Published on December 19, 2021

This Christmas season is different. We can dress it up to try to look the same as prior years with trees and store displays. We can put on the same smiles, attend the same holiday parties and give the same gifts, but it is not business as usual. We have come through a very difficult time in our lives, to say the least. We have weathered a very unusual storm that is still hovering in the background with winds trying to shift back into gear. No, this is not Christmas as usual. This is a different type of year.

A World in Recovery

The world is in recovery. We are trying to shake 2020 from our thoughts and reclaim our lives to normalcy. There is that dark memory within us, however, that millions have fallen, and lives have been impacted with loss and pain. Can the beautiful lights that are sparkling on the Christmas trees erase those dark memories? Can we immerse ourselves in Christmas carols and holiday celebrations so that disturbing memories will not haunt us this season? 

We can try. It may work for a moment, but we are soon reminded of what we have endured. It’s right in front of us as each one of us must become cognizant of our vaccination status just to dine or even work. Masks must be worn, and people are still very uncomfortable being too close to others. No, this is not the same as Christmas past, no matter how much we try to dress it up.

The True Meaning of Christmas

No matter what shadow has been cast over our lives from the pandemic or its continuing impact, we cannot afford to lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas. The truth of Christ coming into this world for you and me is what brings peace and strength to weather through the turmoil that 2020 has presented. Our comfort in getting through loss and tragedy is not in the sparkling lights that radiate from the beautifully erected Christmas tree. We draw our strength in the ever radiating light of Christ and the gift He has given by coming into this world to redeem us. In the tragedy of loss and insecurity that we have either gone through or are still going through, we must find our hope to be founded on nothing less than God’s gift of His son, Jesus. In the midst of our pain and uncertainty, God’s hands were never shortened, and His mercy never stopped reaching out to anyone that would receive it.

Still Struggling

While some have snapped back into holiday celebrations, others are putting on a façade. Some people want to feel the joy and the happiness of the season but within, they are still struggling with loneliness and heartbreak, not necessarily from the pandemic. There are scars that have absolutely nothing to do with the pandemic that still rage within them. They smile, but they hurt. They stand right beside us every day and they are going through unimaginable inner torture, but it is well hidden from our eyes. It is a season that reminds us of either the support and love around us or the lack of it.

Lift Christ Up

If Christ is in your heart, let Him arise. Celebrate Him. As we remember the value of life, let us also remember the Giver of this life. In lifting our Savior up, the world is reminded of the hope He brings. In keeping Christ as the center of our celebration, we present God’s love to those that may have lost sight of it through 2020. As Christ is lifted up, He assures us that He will draw others to himself. The world is hungry, looking for that which satisfies, comforts, and encourages. Those are the very qualities Christ wants us to display as His people in this season. 

He has not forgotten us but has allowed these storms to build us and to give us strength. In the tragedy, let us remember God’s provision and His strength that held us up and got us through. Jesus wants us to draw closer to Him so that we can see abundant life and the fulfillment of life through Him.

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Our celebration of Christmas may be different in many ways, but the message remains the same. Jesus is still the reason for the season. His truth is that He came into the world to save you and me. We celebrate our Lord and Savior as we watch Him bring hope and true, lasting joy for all this Christmas.

 

Janet Boynes founded Janet Boynes Ministries in Maple Grove, MN in 2006. She authored the books: Called Out: A Former Lesbian’s Discovery of FreedomGod & Sexuality and her latest book God & The LGBT Community. She challenges individuals and the church to reach out with a message of hope and restoration to those who struggle with identity issues. Her life is proof that the love of God has the power to heal and restore the brokenness in our lives. It’s been over twenty years since she was called out of the lesbian lifestyle. Janet is an ordained minister under the Assemblies of God and travels the U.S. and overseas sharing a message of redemption. Her desire is to bring hope through the power of Jesus Christ.

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