These days, do you ever find yourself catching up on the news only to be left feeling numb? And as your eyes glaze over one sickening headline after another, you realize that this is not normal, the fact that you can’t even feel one way or another about the tragedies anymore, except to just think, “it’s to be expected”, or, “what else is new?”, or “here we go again.”
Maybe you’ve had a terrible year and you feel robbed. Wasn’t 2020 bad enough? 2021 was supposed to be about “getting back to normal”, only, it didn’t. What is even real anymore? What is this world we’re living in?
Do you feel unsettled about the future? Perhaps you once entered into December looking forward to the year ahead but these days, you just feel afraid of what’s to come. 2022 will surely be more of the same, you bemoan.
When the radio is mocking you with Christmas tunes that you once cheerfully partook in, singing and bopping along to in the car but this year you just can’t. You are not in the mood to be cheerful.
Or this year, the decorations will stay in their boxes a little longer or maybe they won’t come out at all. You’re feeling too depressed or you’re grieving and can’t face this Christmas without the one you love.
Have you been overwhelmed by raising babies in this strange era where it feels lonelier than ever? Maybe you gave birth during lockdowns and were disappointed by what you had hoped and dreamed would happen in terms of support and the welcoming of that little life you were growing for nine months. Maybe you felt let down by others. Maybe the post-partum depression or the hormonal shock to your system or the over-abundance of emotions brought you to a kind of hell you wouldn’t wish on anyone. Without having the shoulder of another mom –who just gets it-to lean on or hold the baby, as your own tears fell, it was impossible to feel the relief you needed. You have never felt more alone.
Or you’re feeling burnt out from raising big kids who have been walking through their own disappointments. The world changed. It’s just different. Their eyes have been opened to things that have made them anxious and confused. Cancelled plans have made them angry. Isolation from friends and the breaking of routines has made them act out or perhaps they turned in. When drugs and alcohol were the fears of mothers past, anxiety, depression, suicide, self-harm, device addiction and misplaced identity are the fears that haunt your motherhood. Maybe you’re burdened by worry and you no longer feel confident in your own abilities as your kids have had to grow up a little faster than you had hoped they would and you’re finding it hard to keep up.
With Covid-19, perhaps it’s been hard to make new mom friends or connect with the ones you have. Mom groups have fallen away for fear of gathering and spreading germs. The strange new world we live in has made it difficult to navigate the new societal norms and etiquettes. Churches have gone and stayed online. Masks have made it hard to read the facial expressions of another, hindering emotional connect and making it difficult to relate to or get to know someone new. It feels all too impersonal and hard . So, maybe you just keep to yourself instead, hoping it will pass soon.
Have these times we’re living in put a strain on your relationships? Your friendships? Your marriage? With so many different thoughts and feelings maybe your circle has changed. Maybe you feel betrayed or someone you were once close with said something offensive or behaved badly toward you and you just can’t get past it.
Or perhaps, your home is the only place you feel truly welcome. Homes of friends and relatives or places that were once open to you, now feel less than welcoming and burdened with rules and restrictions. Perhaps you’re no longer welcome there at all.
And you just feel…
Come close sweet one….
When you’re sitting at home believing that you’re the only one feeling this way, know that you’re not alone.
When you’re feeling hopeless, know that you’re not alone.
When your grief is making it difficult to celebrate, or care about anything else right now, know that you’re not alone.
When you feel so lonely and think you’ll never find support, know that you’re not alone.
When you feel so uneasy that anxiety has become your most familiar friend, know that you’re not alone.
When you have felt too much pain or sadness or shock that instead of cracking, you became numb instead, know that you’re not alone.
When outcomes leave you feeling disappointed or betrayed, know that you’re not alone.
You’re not alone because millions of others are feeling it too.
In a world festered with isolation and fear and anxiety and hidden faces and more online communities than those that are face to face; brokenness is the pandemic of the heart and mind and it destroys.
But Christ came to redeem and he came for the broken.
For you and for me and all who are hurting.
He walks alongside us in our suffering. In our grief. In our pain.
He came to save us and He will come again, this time to put an end to all brokenness.
So we wait.
Advent reminds us to look toward this promise that burrows deep within our weary hearts. It brings His light into the dark places. It lessens the tension between brokenness and goodness, covering it in grace and peace. It causes joy to leap out of sorrow. In our suffering, it brings our tired souls closer to rest as our looking down becomes looking up in hope.
Advent is for us and we the broken are not alone.
Are you needing a little extra encouragement this Advent season?
Have you subscribed to my podcast?
During the month of December, I’ll be putting out a short daily episode with a scripture reading, as we celebrate Advent and look toward the hope and redemption that we, the broken, receive through the promise of Jesus. He is, after all, the reason for the season! I hope these little readings bring encouragement and hope to your December days as we close out yet another long and weary year.❤️