Just the other night, I was with some of my Christian sisters and we were discussing the holidays…I can hardly believe that they are already approaching! Anyway, I was caught off guard when I was asked to recall a happy memory from past holidays. I was quickly overcome with extreme sadness because I wasn’t able to recall anything, at least not at that moment. I was looking for anything that could bring a smile to my heart that I could share with everyone, but I just couldn’t think of anything. I didn’t spend a lot of time trying to think, but I felt so sad that I couldn’t remember anything. I completely broke down in tears and was barely able to speak. I sure wasn’t expecting that to happen. I spent so many godless years alienating myself from people and drinking my life away. All I could remember were the years of darkness and despair that I put myself through.
I am so grateful to God that this Thanksgiving and Christmas celebration is my third time of being completely sober. What an incredible ongoing miracle He has given me. I remember the first time in 2010 very well (I guess I would since it is not that long ago). I had only been sober for about nine months. Although the Lord had delivered me from depression and drinking, my heart was so heavy with sadness. I couldn’t figure out why. I had so much hope. I had so much to be thankful to the Lord for. He had given me a brand new life and had shown me I had a reason to live, yet I was still sad. Extremely sad. The only thing I could think of was that perhaps it was just left over from all those years of being depressed. I was so used to it. It was all I knew for so long, I think it just became automatic every year. I thought that eventually it would change in time, and instead of automatic sadness, that I would start to get used to the sobriety and spending time with people and it would turn into automatic joy. However, a year later in 2011, I went through it all over again. The Holiday Blues crept in once again, but at least it didn’t seem to be as bad as the year before. There was hope.
So here we are again. It’s already another year later. It’s November 2012, and I was expecting everything to be okay this time. I was wrong. I have much joy in my life these days, but once again the Holiday Blues have arrived. I was hoping for automatic joy this year. All it took was that one question from the other night to make me realize that I still need to work through these emotions that I kept bottled up for so long.
This past Friday, it was my fifth week attending Celebrate Recovery. I have shared many difficult things about my life on my Facebook page and on this blog, but sharing on this same level in an intimate group setting once a week at CR is a whole new world for me. It has been challenging, emotional, and a tremendous blessing all at the same time. I can see that God is using my vulnerability to help others realize that it is okay to open up and to be vulnerable themselves.
I started going to CR because I thought I needed to for myself to stay sober. God has turned it around and has shown me that I am there because I need to help others in their recovery. This is the new desire of my heart. God gave me an incredible miracle of sobriety and I need to share that with others in their recovery walk. I have been growing strong in the Lord for over two years and I have found that I am ahead of many of the people there.
I am certainly blessed to be a blessing. My bonus blessing is that I get healing through my own tears when I share my heart with hurting people. Knowing that God will use my tears to help someone else in their own healing process and recovery, well, that’s just a super bonus blessing.
I see now that the Lord led me to CR to mostly help others, but I believe that He is also going to use it to help me beat the Holiday Blues once and for all. I cried this past Friday night as I was sharing my sad heart that comes each year at this time. I believe those tears have started my own healing process already. I already started to feel better as I was driving home that night. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to anybody much about it before. I mostly kept it to myself, but it was time to let it out. God showed me the way and made it happen and I am so grateful.
I have been thinking about that question from the other night and I have something I can share with a smile. My memory from the past is that I was a happy little girl when my parents were together—we were a family once upon a time. I will hold on to those memories from so many years ago. We may not have known God back then, but there was love in our home. Today, I know my heavenly Father’s amazing love and I have learned that He is really all I will ever need in this life.
Anyone out there who gets the blues this time of year like so many of us, know you are not alone. You don’t have to go through it alone. Perhaps your sadness isn’t seasonal like mine. Even so, reach out to the Lord. Come to Him as you are. I want to encourage you to find a Christian support group and you will get through it with the Lord’s help. We all have a story to share. Let the Lord use your story to help others. You will be amazed at how much your life will change for the better. You start healing even more when you are helping others to heal. I can testify to that. Isolation is so dangerous. I regret going there, it almost killed me. The Lord has helped me through it all. Something else that I have discovered on this amazing journey is that nothing from my past has gone to waste. God is using every bit of it for His good purpose now. He will do the same for anybody. I am so glad I choose to walk in His light every single day. I will never be in the dark again. Thank You, Jesus. ♥
I wanted to share this recording of last Sunday’s church service at my church, Hope Center of Christ. I love the message “Turn Your Hurts Into Healings” I thought how perfect it is for what the Lord put on my heart to write about. I guess the timing of it all was no accident. I pray you will be blessed by it: