Sunday, November 13, 2011

Holiday Struggles

So the greatest time of the year is approaching, and I can't say I'm looking forward to it. Thanksgiving and Christmas are holidays that I love, but dread at the same time.

When I was a kid and even as a young adult I loved spending holidays with my Mom's family. I remember holidays in Rochester and Scotsville, NY. I remember lots of family, wonderful food, Aunt Ginny's girly tree in the parlor and the tall tree in the family room. I remember the tree in my Grandparent's living room. We rarely went in there, but with the tree in there we spend time there. I loved that room. I kind of felt like holding my breath when I entered it. I loved the figurines on the mantle and the formal furniture. The room seemed perfect to me. I loved the laughter, games, sitting at the kids' table. I remember watching football, lots and lots of football.

I always thought when I grew up holidays would be like that. They aren't. Sometimes we have family dinners, but sometimes that family is just three of us. We might watch football, but there is no noisy outbursts of cheers or groans. Every year there seems to be a diet someone is on so the meal is simple, good, but simple. There are no children running from room to room. There are some games, when the kids are there. We watch It's A Wonderful Life if it's on. There is no parlor with a girly tree or a sacred living room with figurines on the mantle.

The worst part is I imagined it would be my house full of family, food, fun, and football. But it's not. I have no family. I have no reason to cook lots of cookies, candies, and treats for the holidays. This is what I've always dreamed of. Each holiday season reminds me of what I long for and don't have.

I have great family. They include me, but it also makes me feel like a third, fifth, and sometimes a seventh wheel. Being with the nephews and niece just reminds me of the children I thought I'd have by now and don't. I love my family and love spending time with them, but around the holidays it hurts at the same time. I always imagined spending time with them and my family.

I just wonder how many holiday seasons more I will spend before some of those dreams come true, or if I will spend all the rest of them this way.

Recently I started to wonder how many others feel the same way. I wonder how many people have gone holiday season to holiday season wishing and waiting for a family of their own to celebrate with. Sometimes we feel like we are the only one, but I believe that is a lie of satan. He doesn't want us to know there are others. He wants us to feel isolated and alone. He doesn't want us to turn to God in our hurt. He wants us to stay sad. Sometimes, I admit, it is hard to turn to God when I hurt. Sometimes I am angry with Him. Sometimes I wonder how much longer until He changes things. I know He might not change things, but He definitely is changing me.

I know this holiday season won't be easy, but I also know that He is with me and He knows my every want, desire, and need.

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