Tis’ the season of Christmas time. A time of joy and celebration with family and friends – gathering around the Christmas tree, opening gifts, and making memories; sipping hot cocoa and decorating Gingerbread houses. There are so many fun traditions. And while most of these moments bring us happiness, sometimes the holidays can also become quite stressful, bringing with it a heap of anxiety and tension. For some people, the holidays can be quite sad. For others, it could just be that they are so focused on getting the gifts, tree, and dinner menu perfected. Either way, we all can begin to feel the pressure, and honestly, we shouldn’t.
Christmas is a time of worship. A time of rejoicing. A time of celebration. The meaning of Christmas is beyond gifts and holiday parties and Christmas decorations. It is a time when we should focus on what truly matters – spending precious time with our loved ones and celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. But yet, Christmas has become so commercialized and consumer-driven that most of us have forgotten this true meaning of Christmas. And this is why we find ourselves under so much stress every year.
I always remind myself of the true meaning of Christmas, and every year, I find myself in the same boat – worrying about what gifts to give to whom, worrying about putting up the Christmas tree and getting it perfectly decorated, worrying about what I am going to cook for my friends or family, worrying about how I’m going to manage my time between so many different people I want to visit. It’s an endless worry list. And I find myself exhausted. Literally exhausted. And then I begin to question why I even feel this way. I really wonder, “Christina, why are you always so tired around the holidays?” Well DUH! Because you are doing too much and worrying about the wrong things.
We’re not super men and women. We can’t juggle everything all at the same time all the time. Currently, I’ve been pretty stressed out, I have to be honest. And it’s not just because of the holidays, but because of everything happening all at the same time. Sure, I’m worried about creating the perfect Christmas for my little family but I’m also struggling with my own sense of inner peace. I’ve been guilty of worrying again. Creating this anxiety in my mind over my health. I haven’t felt anxious like this in almost a year, so the feeling seems foreign, but not quite. I thought I was beyond these fears. I thought I was “healed.” But maybe you’re never really healed, just like you can never really be perfect. I’m learning that as human beings we’re always going to struggle in some form, but we can’t let it hold us back in fear. We can’t let it consume us to the point where we are just sitting and worrying, letting the object of our worries turn over in our heads continuously until it drives us mad. But yet, I am still guilty of doing it. And I’m sure most of you are too. We know better, and yet we do it anyway. This is what makes us flawed as humans. But it’s ok. Because we don’t have to be strong all the time. That is why we have a savior – to be our strength for us when we are weak.
“9And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
– 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
I repeat, we are not super men and women. We are not expected to be strong all the time and get everything done all at the same time. And when we do find ourselves striving too much, we become exhausted and wonder why. Because we are simply not capable as much as we push ourselves to be. It’s ok that you don’t get everything done or perfect. It’s ok that you are frightened with fear over something. It’s ok that you don’t have enough strength in you to keep going. You don’t have to be strong, because He is strong for you. That is why God is so great because He cares for us so much that He doesn’t want us to try so hard all the time. He wants us to lean on Him and to ask Him for help. I need to remember this. Too often I try to do things in my own strength, thinking that if I just organize myself a little better or try a little harder or push myself a little further, that I can get it all done, that it will work out ok. But sometimes, I can’t. Most of the time I can’t. And I need to ask for help. I need to rely on Him to give me His strength to push me through. Especially right now. Especially when I am under so much stress and the anxiety and worry from that is consuming my mind.
We all need to take a break. We need to surrender to His strength. We need to ask for help. We need to admit that we aren’t strong enough to do it on our own. And this is why we were given a savior. Because we are weak. We are WEAK! And that is ok! Because His grace is sufficient and His strength is perfected in our weakness.
Rely on that today. Rely on that to get you through when you feel like you are carry too much weight. Rely on that when you need a breather from your routine. Rely on that when you feel like you just can’t move that much further on your own. I need to remind myself of this today. Christina, you are not strong enough. You never will be. And you need His help.
This is the true meaning of Christmas. Celebrating the birth of our Savior. Our strength in our weakness.
This is the true meaning of Christmas.
The Self Love Challenge:
Remember you are not super man or woman. Rely on God’s strength. Ask for help. Remember you are loved enough by Him for Him to give you that privilege.