“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35 NIV
As survivors of sexual assault and abuse many times we are at odds with family or cannot be around them, or maybe they were your perpetrators. So, with Christmas this week what will you do?
It’s hard this time of year. You cannot escape it. It is in every store. The displays, music, embodies every place you go. Even the radio waves of your car. This time of year is one of the hardest for me. I am at odds with my family. I have no one with whom to celebrate Christmas, or exchange gifts, or drive around and see lights with, or enjoy time together. I am all alone. Maybe you are too.
I found last year God provided for me during Christmas in a way I never would have guessed would be fulfilling, yet it was more fulfilling than opening gifts, or even sitting around a table of family I don’t get along with anymore.
This Christmas will be similar. Although Christmas Eve I will go alone to a church service, I will be surrounded by believers worshipping our God. It will be a nice service of hymns and choruses praising God who sent Jesus to us a baby to save us from our sins. There will be candles for ambiance as we end the nice service.
I will then go home and watch a special Christmas movie I love to watch every year. One which reminds me the importance of life. “It’s A Wonderful Life”. If you’ve never seen it you should watch it. Although, not true to real life per say, it is a portrayal of God’s love and how important we are here on earth.
Christmas day I will serve with others at our community Christmas dinner for those who have nowhere else to have Christmas dinner. I will start early helping with set-up and finish with the take-down around 2pm. I will give back instead of focusing on what I do not have on Christmas. I will focus on Christ and what he did, coming as a baby, from the comforts of heaven.
Then, I will bring home a meal from the dinner and having carefully calculated what I can eat, I will eat a special Christmas dinner while I put in another Christmas movie. Then the day will be over.
You see God has a way of providing for us in our loss. He taught me to give back and not focus on what I do not have, but on what I do have and what I can give.
I challenge you this Christmas if you are alone and in need of comfort, give of yourself. Help others. If you are able, provide gifts for a family in need. Serve dinner at a shelter or church.
Find a place to give, and I guarantee you will receive a blessing.
Christmas is the hardest time of year. Please help me to remember why we celebrate it. To remember you sent Jesus to us as a baby to then die for our sins so we can spend eternity with you. Help me to take the focus off of myself, and remember it is truly better to give than it is to receive this Christmas.
© 2017 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.