For some people, the holidays are a magical time of year. These are the folks who decorate early, mainline pumpkin spice lattes, and finish their Christmas shopping before you’re done scraping cranberry sauce off the floor. Is that you? If so, be happy in your Christmas bliss.

Christmas, prayer, hope

But maybe this isn’t you. At all.

You’re tired.

Worn out.

Sad.

Lonely.

If so, you’re not alone.

For some, the holidays are another reminder there isn’t enough to go around. For others, the Christmas season is a harbinger of painful memories, disappointment, and loss.

So, we speak to you today. We speak to the ones carrying extra emotional baggage through November, December, and even well into January. We only want to tell you one thing.

It’s okay.

It’s okay to be sad and lonely and disappointed. It’s okay to cry while others laugh. Allow yourself to sit with the hurt during this season instead of trying to push it away every moment of the day. Because all that pushing? It’s exhausting.

Let yourself mourn for what you’ve lost or never had.

Allow the pain to come. Allow yourself to grieve for lost loved ones or empty bank accounts or broken families. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to recognize you’ve lost something everyone else seems to have.

Most importantly, remember you’re not the only one. Don’t let Instagram pics and Facebook posts fool you. Behind the smiles, people all around you bear the weight of disappointment, too.

Next, while it’s good to pause and reflect and grieve, we also encourage you to take a second to look at what you do have. If you can’t find anything else to be thankful for, there’s one thing we all have in common: life. If you’re breathing, start there.

While you might feel alone, we can unite across distance and time through prayer. So, we’d like to offer this holiday prayer for you to whisper on your hard days, and we’d also like to offer our prayers to you. If you want, we’ll pray for you. Leave a comment or message here (or use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) letting us know you’d like us to remember you in prayer, and we promise we will.

You are not alone, my friend.

You are never alone.

And if you keep moving, it will get better.

advent, hope, prayer

Holiday Prayer for those Who Suffer

Father,

I come before you to acknowledge my thanks for the life I’ve been given. You are the giver of life, and I thank you for my life even though I feel burdened by pain and my days feel long and empty.

I come before you admitting my brokenness. I come before you to lay my sadness, hurt, pain, and disappointment at your feet.

I ask for hope to replace hopelessness, provision to replace deficit, comfort to replace sorrow, companionship to replace loneliness.

In my sorrow, I ask you to open my eyes to others who hurt, so I can make a difference in the life of someone else. Help me to remember the truth that we all need each other.

I thank you for your peace and presence, and I ask you to remind me of the promise and potential life offers even when I feel like I’ve lost it all.

Show me your grace as I seek to remember your goodness through my pain. Show me small reminders of your love for me as I seek to set aside my worries and trust in you for all things.

I give myself to you completely. Help me when I can’t help myself.

In the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I pray,

Amen.