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  • Writer's pictureAnna Morgan

Celebration in the Midst of Crisis

small nativity scene mary joseph baby jesus

"In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; for I have overcome the world." John 16:33

The holiday season is often designated as “the most wonderful time of the year." However, for numerous military families who are separated due to deployment or with loved ones recovering from traumatic incidents, it may be anything but. Rather, their time leading up to Christmas is marked with anxiety, grief, and adversity. Therefore, in this month's article, we’ll contemplate the juxtaposition of celebrating the birth of Christ amid complex seasons of life.

To begin, let’s consider four ways to honor Christ during life-altering circumstances.

1. Focus on our reason for celebration.

Strip away the materialistic, commercialized societal demands. Then, recall the original significance of Christmas in the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. The literal translation for advent  indicates “coming” — our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace prophesied centuries prior (Isaiah 9:6)! Though seasonal activities, gifts, festivities and moments with loved ones absolutely deserve to be savored, remember to keep your heart centered on the hope, peace, and authentic joy that only He can produce.  

2. Make every ‘yes’ worthwhile. 

Commit exclusively to what you and your family know will be most meaningful and purpose-filled in your schedule. Allow yourself permission to decline overwhelming and excessive engagements. Find a pace that brings you each peace, margin for reflection, and a bypass against societal obligations. 

3. Find ways to provide for others. 

It may seem counterintuitive to tack on an additional assignment, yet supporting others can often serve as an essential antidote when it comes to personal heartache. This can be achieved through creating thoughtful notes for other military families, taking the initiative to create delicious baked goods for those in your community, or consideration of sponsorship for suffering families. Christ came to love, serve, and sacrifice for others — so we also should aim to emulate that example, particularly during this season of giving. 

4. Reach out for support.

On a similar note, the best way to assist others includes providing for your own needs as well. Drawing from a place of abundance and rejuvenation allows your service to be of even greater benefit to your loved one. Be candid concerning your mental state, while allowing some of the weight from the burdens you bear to be released to capable, compassionate hearts. Extended family might feel privileged at an occasion to assist you in some practical way as you have done for them previously, while trusted friends may need the perspective and joy caring for your family could provide. Mutually beneficial opportunities arise by merely extending your concerns and requests to others during tumultuous times. 

Celebration in the midst of crisis can be particularly challenging for caretakers in matriarchal roles.

Not only are these individuals entrusted to provide constant care for their companion, even still expectations to produce perfection in their homes, holidays, and happenings are often compulsory as well. The tasks may feel absolutely endless and insurmountable. Know that it’s entirely acceptable to permit yourself breaks, grace, and moments of mourning when necessary. 

Though it may feel lacking momentarily, trust God that there is hope and light ahead. What a beautiful gift — the light of Christ. Brought forth and born in darkness, yet imparting hope and salvation to all! In the midst of your most profound affliction and distress, God weeps with you and is near. Know that you are never alone!

Wishing you a beautifully blessed Christmas.

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