if Christmas seems impossibly hard this year

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I used to have terrible nightmares.  Early in my college years, I went through months of rarely sleeping at all. It seemed like every time I fell asleep my mind just gave up and welcomed anything the cat might drag in.  I framed my insomnia as "I just don't need much sleep" and even made some noise about how I wished humans didn't need to sleep at all, because what's the point, and think of how much more we could do with our time!  I have remembered those silly thoughts many times over my season of babies and night feedings, and croupy coughs, and thought, what the heck, girl!

Last week, circumstances stirred up something inside me and, for the first time in years, I went to bed with memories from long ago whirling like a storm.  I was afraid.  I thought about just camping out on the couch and reading or doing work or anything to avoid trying to sleep like I would have before.  But I am not who I was praisebetoGod.  I admitted to my husband and to my God what was going on in my heart.  Mr. Cyrus prayed and I trusted.  God has given me a man who guards me with his prayers.  I slept, and though I felt the menace of evil on the edge of my dreams, I did not have nightmares.

Christmas is a very hard time for many, for any number of reasons.  It's hard enough to walk around with an ache inside when everyone is going on with their seemingly normal lives, but then comes Christmas and everyone seems so damn happy on top of it.  When the devastation in your soul stands in stark contrast to the "Have a holly jolly Christmas" ringing through the store. . .it's almost more than can be borne.

This year I've written about depression and loss and all kinds of hard things, and sometimes I think, really God?  I want to write a crafty post or a homeschooling post, or something so my readers don't go away in search of sunnier pastures.  I actually wrote this post last week and thought I would just delete it. . . but then reminders kept coming to me that there are others who I can perhaps encourage.

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If you're there this year with a new hurt or old hurts, I want to tell you you are not alone.  If you find yourself in a tunnel dark except for the Christmas lights, ask for help and please keep walking.  In my own life I have seen healing like I never believed possible, and there were times I truly believed it was not possible, or at least not lasting.  Some of it is here on this blog, some of it is more appropriate for personal conversations.  Despite the pitch and roll of the deck over time (apparently, I just can't let the water metaphor go), fears that used to rule me just don't anymore.  The cloud that always hung around is letting sunshine through more often than not.  I wish I could sit down with you and tell you over and over again the ways my God has walked with me, rescued me, and healed my deepest hurts.  You are not alone.  You are prayed for, and you are loved.

And all these Christmas pressures point to more needed things — and the Christmas Child opens arms and whispers One Thing is needed.  And into the middle of impossible messes — comes the Messiah who makes the miracles possible.


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